Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help. If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer

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Tests to diagnose

You might have one or more of these tests to work out the cause of your symptoms. 

Examination of your back passage

An examination of your back passage (rectum) involves your doctor feeling inside your rectum using their finger. This procedure is also called a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy looks inside the lower part of your large bowel. It can also be called a bowel scope or flexi sig. 


A colonoscopy looks at the whole of the inside of your large bowel.

CT colonography

CT (computed tomography) colonography is a test that uses CT scans to check the large bowel (colon). It’s also called a virtual colonoscopy.

Blood tests

Blood tests can help to diagnose bowel cancer. 

Tests on your bowel cancer cells

Tests on your cancer cells can diagnose cancer and look for gene changes. Some of these tests can show how well particular treatments might work.

Last reviewed: 
05 Sep 2018

Information and help