Carle Richland Memorial Hospital performs colonoscopy procedures in its GI Lab. Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer, such as polyps, and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss. The American Cancer Society recommends that individuals begin having routine colonoscopies at age 50 or earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer or if recommended by their doctor. Consult your doctor about when to begin having colonoscopies based on your medical background and family history.