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New era of colon screening emerging

New Orleans, LA There is good news for the aging population of Americans whose doctors are recommending periodic colonoscopies it is getting easier. New research presented today at Digestive Disease Week in New Orleans shows that improved technologies are heading for the market, which means more accurate testing, easier processes and possibly, less frequent screenings for patients. Digestive Disease Week (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Colonoscopies are extremely important preventive methods against colon cancer. Less-invasive screening tests may be preferable to patients and could help us reduce the colorectal cancer death rate because of increased screening for the disease," said Bernard Levin, M.D., from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "It's important to ensure that non-invasive colorectal screening tests are accurate before recommending their wide-spread use. Right now, virtual colonoscopy, stool DNA testing and new, fecal immunochemical tests are promising, but require additional technological refinements."

Multicenter Prospective Comparison of Colon Imaging Tests (Abstract 100606*)
New technologies are becoming available to perform colonic tests in alternative fashions. In a study funded by the National Cancer Institute and conducted at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, researchers found that colonoscopy fairs better than other imaging tests in an overall comparison of accuracy, cost and patient acceptance.

Colonoscopy (C) is generally considered to be the optimal method for colon evaluation, but in practice other imaging tests, including the air contrast barium enema (ACBE) and computed tomographic colonography (CTC), are also used. In this study, fourteen sites recruited patients with an increased need for colon examination to undergo each of the
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