When should you use endoscopy over colonoscopy?

This question was asked in Santa Barbara, California on 05/22/2012.
What is the difference between colonoscopy and endoscopy? Which one is better at preventing colon cancer? They just seem so similar to me and I don't know which one I would be looking for.

Doctors Answers (3)

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 5/29/2012

Endoscopy refers to an exam using lighted a scope that is inserted into a hollow part of an organ or body part for evaluation. A colonoscopy is a type of endoscopic procedure.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 5/23/2012

Colonoscopy is for colon cancer screening. Endoscopy is to evaluate the stomach.

Dale Prokupek, M.D.
Answered on: 5/22/2012

Thanks for the question. There is actually a big difference between colonoscopy and endoscopy. When we say "endoscopy" what we usually mean is "upper endoscopy" meaning we are taking a look at the insides of your stomach and esophagus. Although a colonoscopy, which looks at your colon, is technically an "endoscopy," we usually call it a colonoscopy or "lower endoscopy" to keep things clear.