Colon Cancer: What cancer Screening is all about?
CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)
Virtual colonoscopy – minimally invasive exam to screen for cancer of the large intestine (colon cancer). Using a CAT (computed tomography, or CT) scanner and computer methods of reforming the images, the colon can be assessed without a colonoscope and without sedation.
Virtual colonoscopy takes the data produced by a CT scanner and processes it to create an image of the colon’s inner surface. When the colon is accurately cleansed and expanded with air or carbon dioxide, and when the CT information is processed, specialist can look at the inner lining or surface to detect polyps.
Possible candidates for virtual colonoscopy:
- Are hesitant to have colonoscopy
- Are at risk of colonoscopy complications, such as excess bleeding because your blood doesn’t clot like normal
- Have a bowel obstruction
Not possible candidate for virtual colonoscopy:
- history of colon cancer or abnormal tissue clumps or polyps in the colon
- family history of colon cancer or colon polyps
- Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Acute diverticulitis
Virtual colonoscopy and its pros and cons:
- Fewer risks, paralleled with regular colonoscopy
- It’s convenient if you’re elderly or take blood thinners.
- There’s no recovery time and can go right back to your normal life.
- It costs cheaper and is faster than the regular test.
- the specialist isn’t looking right at your colon and might miss small changes.
- It’s low, but there is radiation exposure.
- If the test results show changes, you’ll have to come back for a regular colonoscopy to remove and examine the tissue.