Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New test offers hope for easier colon screening

Use of dye in scan skips the laxative, still shows polyps

A new method of performing virtual colonoscopy using a CT scan - which does not involve the dreaded laxative preparation to clear the colon the night before - may be about as effective as a standard colonoscopy at identifying the large polyps most likely to become cancerous, according to research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and elsewhere.

If larger studies confirm the finding, the technique could eventually serve as a first-line screening tool for colon cancer, especially for the many people who avoid screening altogether.

The new technique works by using a contrast agent - a tiny amount of dye is ingested two days before the test - to highlight fecal matter in the colon, which can then be digitally erased from the scan using a software program, making it easier to see polyps.

Source: The Boston Globe Online

Other News:

The Chart/CNN.com

Web MD

Learn more about: CT (computed tomography) Colonography

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