Preventative Health Scans
Colorectal cancer is cancer of either the rectum or colon and largely preventable. The rectum and colon are the last parts of the digestive tract. The digestive tract also includes the esophagus, stomach, and your small bowel. Colorectal cancer is fairly common and responsible for the 2nd most deaths among cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2017 there was an estimated 135,430 new cases reported, and over 50,260 deaths.
What is CT Virtual Colonoscopy?
CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a minimally invasive method to screen and diagnose colorectal cancer. A CT scan is performed and special virtual reality computer software takes the multiple 2D images and combines them together to create a 3D model that is easier to view from multiple angles. Our Radiologist will look at your digestive tract to find polyps and other abnormalities.
This is all done without sedation, and without the need to fill the colon with barium (barium enema) or insert the long larger tube that is used during a conventional colonoscopy.
We believe that a CT Virtual Colonoscopy is more comfortable, faster, safer, and less expensive than a conventional colonoscopy. A Conventional Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard and is the most accurate test for detection of polyps, but it is associated with an increased risk of complications and expense.
CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a very good screening test for colon cancer, for those patients who want a less invasive study and do not have any symptoms or family history.
Virtual Colonoscopy Pros & Cons
- Less invasive — The exam still requires a tube to be inserted in your rectum and colon. But, it’ll be shorter than the tube used for a colonoscopy.
- Fewer complications — You won’t have to worry as much about bleeding or tearing of the colon.
- More comprehensive — The Radiologist can see the area outside the colon. This makes it possible to spot other problems in the pelvis area.
- Follow-up colonoscopy — If a polyp or anything else unusual is found during your virtual colonoscopy, you’ll need to get a traditional colonoscopy to remove the polyp or perform a biopsy.
- Radiation exposure — Virtual colonoscopy exposes you to a low dose of radiation. You’ll be exposed to more radiation than a chest X-ray but far less than a regular CT scan.
Start the Screening Discussion
Start the colorectal screening discussion at your next check-up.
Colon cancer can be prevented if polyps are discovered and removed early. Masses of abnormal cells and tumors can take a several years to develop. Initially, a cell from the colon starts to multiply abnormally and forms a non-cancerous polyp. This polyp can remain harmless for a long time before becoming an aggressive cancer. Polyps, when detected early can often be removed during a conventional colonoscopy.
The risk for colon cancer increases with age and screening is recommended for anyone 50 years or older. For patients with family history of cancer or gastrointestinal problems should talk to their Doctor, about when a screening is right for them.