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Virtual colon screenings examined

LOS ANGELES (May 23, 2006) With more than 100,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed each year with colon cancer, doctors are working to improve screening techniques through more accurate technologies and more comfortable procedures. In research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2006 (DDW), studies suggest that virtual screenings may be just as effective as standard colonoscopy at detecting colon polyps in average-risk individuals. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Computed tomographic colonography (CTC), sometimes called "Virtual Colonoscopy," is a non-invasive and well-tolerated CT scan, which uses an X-ray to create images of the body. The images are transferred to a computer, creating a detailed picture of the inside of the colon, so that a doctor can search for polyps or other abnormalities that may need to be removed.

A Prospective Evaluation and Classification of Extra-Colonic Abnormalities Identified with Computed Tomographic Colonography Screening in Asymptomatic, Average Risk Individuals [Abstract 209]

Computed tomographic colonography (CTC) screening is becoming a more prevalent option used to screen moderate-risk individuals for colon cancer. Because of the computer assisted technology, this procedure can also detect extra-colonic abnormalities, such as calcified arteries and nodules. This study examined the characteristics of the abnormalities found by the screening and the resulting evaluation and treatment.

The research team from the National Naval Medical Center conducted CTC for cancer screening on 979 asymptomatic, average risk patients and recorded extra-colonic abnormalities, categorizing the findings as critical (requiring therapeutic intervention), moderate (requiring additional diagnostic intervention) or incidental (no further action).

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Contact: Aimee Frank
newsroom@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
23-May-2006


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