Your doctor may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam to:
- Investigate intestinal signs and symptoms. A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam can help your doctor explore possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, chronic diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
Screen for colon cancer. If you're age 50 or older and you have no colon cancer risk factors other than age — which puts you at average risk — your doctor may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam every five years to screen for colon cancer.
Sigmoidoscopy is one option for colon cancer screening, but there are other options that allow visualization of the whole colon. Talk with your doctor about your options.