Sigmoidoscopy is the inspection of the lower part of the large intestine (colon) using a lighted viewing scope (sigmoidoscope). A doctor can also remove small growths and collect tissue samples (biopsy) through a sigmoidoscope.
Sigmoidoscopy is most commonly used to screen for colon cancer. About half of all colon tumors and polyps can be found using sigmoidoscopy.
Sigmoidoscopy is done in a hospital or doctor's office that has the necessary equipment. Preparation for the test includes emptying the bowels ahead of time using a laxative or enema.