What To Expect From a Colon Cancer Screening

Here's what you should know if you’re about to get a colon cancer screening.

We know that when it comes to undergoing any diagnostic medical procedure that it’s normal to feel a little nervous, especially if you don’t know what to expect. When it comes to getting a colon cancer screening, which is essential for all adults over the age of 45, our Honolulu, HI, gastroenterologist Dr. Stephen Buto wants you to feel as comfortable and at ease as possible.

What Is the Purpose of a Colon Cancer Screening?

A colon cancer screening, most often referred to as a colonoscopy, is a diagnostic imaging tool that can help our Honolulu, HI, team look inside the colon and rectum to spot early warning signs of cancer when a person is less likely to experience symptoms. Since both men and women are at risk for colon cancer, particularly those over age 45, it’s essential that you start getting screened regularly.

How Do I Prepare for a Colonoscopy?

Our Honolulu, HI, team will provide you with instructions on what to do and not do before your colonoscopy. It’s vital that before you begin taking your bowel prep, which you will do about 24 hours before your procedure, you are drinking lots of water to prevent dehydration. You will be told to avoid eating anything for at least 24 hours before your colonoscopy except for clear liquids.

The bowel prep is designed to clear your bowels, so plan to have easy access to the bathroom while taking the prep. If you feel nauseous or bloated, you may give yourself a break from the prep for thirty minutes and sip water to ease any discomfort. Once your bowels have turned yellow or clear, this is a sign that your colon is clear.  

What Should I Expect From a Colonoscopy?

The process takes about thirty minutes; however, it may take longer if we detect certain problems such as bleeds or colon polyps requiring removal or treatment. In this case, it may take up to one hour. You can go home immediately after your procedure, and it’s essential that you have someone to drive you home, as you will be given sedation through an IV to help you relax and feel comfortable during your procedure.

When Will I Get My Results?

You should get the results of your colonoscopy once you are in the recovery suite. If we needed to take a biopsy, this sample would be sent to a lab for further testing, which we usually get back within 1-2 weeks. If your results are normal and you don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may not need another colonoscopy for ten years. Those with abnormal findings or those at high risk for colorectal cancer may require colon cancer screenings every 4-5 years. This is something we can discuss during your consultation.

Whether you have a colon cancer screening coming up and you have additional questions, or you need to schedule your next screening, you can always call our Honolulu, HI, office at (808) 524-7676.

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Stephen K. Buto, M.D.


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm





Patient Testimonials

  • "Thank you very much for your efficient and professional caring to take care of my colon health."
  • "Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to address my concerns and to perform the procedures. Your warm bedside manner and compassion were greatly appreciated! I am very thankful to have someone so thorough investigating my symptoms. Thank you!!!"
  • "Many thanks for a job well done. It was a huge relief going through the ordeal. Your easy going, soft sell of the procedure was a big help. It helped to put things in perspective and allowed me to be less apprehensive. Your efficient team worked swiftly and well. We are fortunate to have such up-to-date facilities and trained staff. We are very fortunate to have such fine medical care."
  • "Thank you for the extra special care you gave my dad during his recent gall bladder episode. My family and I truly appreciate your attention to dad’s case, your kindness, compassion, thoroughness, being there in the middle of the night, communication with the family, and just the heart with which you serve. I wish there were more doctors like you. God bless and keep you and your family."
  • "I can’t thank you enough for the extraordinary effort you went through to help me reach a conclusive diagnosis. You went over and beyond any expectation, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the time and effort. My mind is at ease that I had the expertise of you and your colleagues to help me."
  • "Thank you for service above and beyond on a long Saturday afternoon, when my husband was in so much pain. It was very comforting to know that you were just a phone call away. We needed your instructions and advice, and it kept him from a hospital stay."
  • "Thank you for your wonderful expertise and care."
  • "It has been one week since my first colonoscopy. Thank you so much that the entire process and procedure went so smoothly. The time and effort in providing a thorough pre-consultation and explanation relieved me of my anxiety and concerns. The communication and follow through by your office was very helpful and appreciated! I sincerely appreciate your kind attention and excellent medical care in the successful accomplishment of my procedure"
  • "Thank you so much for your attentive and thorough care. I appreciate your acknowledging my anxiety over the anesthesia. And your attempt to alleviate it. It worked beautifully!!!"
  • "I have had my second procedure with Dr. Buto and Dr. Leong in 10 years. They and their staff were the most professional and courteous people that I have ever met. Everything was explained to me as to what was going to happen for prep, the procedure and after the procedure. I would highly recommend Dr. Buto, Dr. Leong and their staff."