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Virtual Colonoscopy

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NEWS
August 20, 2010
Colonoscopy is an important tool to detect colorectal cancer. In recent years, virtual colonoscopy, which involves a CT scan of the colon instead of the invasive, optical inspection of the colon, has been shown to be as effective as traditional colonoscopy. Now, a new study suggests that virtual colonoscopy may even be superior because it can identify cancers outside of the colon. In a study of 2,277 patients who underwent virtual colonoscopy, almost half were found to have some suspicious lesions outside the colon.
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SCIENCE
May 14, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure, identifying polyps and early-stage tumors so they can be removed before they grow and spread. But many people refuse to undergo the procedure because they don't relish having an endoscope inserted into their body, and they don't like the preparation for the procedure, which requires drinking laxatives and spending large amounts of time in the lavatory the night before.
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NATIONAL
April 14, 2004 | From Associated Press
Virtual colonoscopy, a cancer-detecting procedure that gives doctors a computer-generated 3-D view of the colon, is less reliable than previously thought and not ready for widespread use, researchers said in a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Assn. Its accuracy varies considerably depending on the training and methods of the doctors performing it, according to a study of 600 patients at nine major clinics.
NEWS
August 20, 2010
Colonoscopy is an important tool to detect colorectal cancer. In recent years, virtual colonoscopy, which involves a CT scan of the colon instead of the invasive, optical inspection of the colon, has been shown to be as effective as traditional colonoscopy. Now, a new study suggests that virtual colonoscopy may even be superior because it can identify cancers outside of the colon. In a study of 2,277 patients who underwent virtual colonoscopy, almost half were found to have some suspicious lesions outside the colon.
SCIENCE
December 2, 2003 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
An X-ray technique called virtual colonoscopy appears to be as effective as the conventional procedure for detecting polyps in the colon but is less invasive, does not require sedation and eliminates the risk of inadvertently puncturing the intestine, researchers said Monday. The procedure does not eliminate the 24-hour cleansing in which wastes are washed out of the intestines -- a process many patients find the most objectionable part of the procedure.
SCIENCE
July 27, 2005 | Alex Raksin, Times Staff Writer
Virtual colonoscopy, an increasingly popular technique that uses CT scans instead of invasive endoscopy to identify colon polyps, can identify many medical problems outside the colon, making it a more valuable tool than researchers had previously believed. In 500 men undergoing virtual colonoscopy, 45 had significant problems outside the colon, including aneurysms and cancers, researchers from UC San Francisco report today in the journal Radiology.
HEALTH
April 19, 2004 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Although virtual colonoscopy is being increasingly promoted as a high-tech, less painful way to detect colorectal cancer, real-world experience is demonstrating it can be unreliable. A comparison study of patients with at least one lesion measuring 10 millimeters or more found that virtual colonoscopy detected the lesions -- tissue abnormalities such as small tumors or polyps that can develop into cancers -- 55% of the time. When a standard colonoscopy was used, the test found all the lesions.
SCIENCE
May 14, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure, identifying polyps and early-stage tumors so they can be removed before they grow and spread. But many people refuse to undergo the procedure because they don't relish having an endoscope inserted into their body, and they don't like the preparation for the procedure, which requires drinking laxatives and spending large amounts of time in the lavatory the night before.
HEALTH
December 8, 2003 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Colorectal screenings are not pleasant exams, and many people have longed for an easier way to have their large intestine checked for cancerous or precancerous polyps. Last week, they may have thought they had a solution.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2009 | Noam N. Levey
With soothing walls of turquoise tile and a vase of orchids on the front desk, the Colon Health Center of Delaware has been selling an alternative to one of medicine's most unloved procedures -- the colonoscopy. Rather than insert several feet of tubing into patients' lower intestines, clinicians slide patients into a computed tomography, or CT, imaging machine that can quickly scan the abdomen for signs of cancer.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2009 | Noam N. Levey
With soothing walls of turquoise tile and a vase of orchids on the front desk, the Colon Health Center of Delaware has been selling an alternative to one of medicine's most unloved procedures -- the colonoscopy. Rather than insert several feet of tubing into patients' lower intestines, clinicians slide patients into a computed tomography, or CT, imaging machine that can quickly scan the abdomen for signs of cancer.
SCIENCE
July 27, 2005 | Alex Raksin, Times Staff Writer
Virtual colonoscopy, an increasingly popular technique that uses CT scans instead of invasive endoscopy to identify colon polyps, can identify many medical problems outside the colon, making it a more valuable tool than researchers had previously believed. In 500 men undergoing virtual colonoscopy, 45 had significant problems outside the colon, including aneurysms and cancers, researchers from UC San Francisco report today in the journal Radiology.
HEALTH
April 19, 2004 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Although virtual colonoscopy is being increasingly promoted as a high-tech, less painful way to detect colorectal cancer, real-world experience is demonstrating it can be unreliable. A comparison study of patients with at least one lesion measuring 10 millimeters or more found that virtual colonoscopy detected the lesions -- tissue abnormalities such as small tumors or polyps that can develop into cancers -- 55% of the time. When a standard colonoscopy was used, the test found all the lesions.
NATIONAL
April 14, 2004 | From Associated Press
Virtual colonoscopy, a cancer-detecting procedure that gives doctors a computer-generated 3-D view of the colon, is less reliable than previously thought and not ready for widespread use, researchers said in a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Assn. Its accuracy varies considerably depending on the training and methods of the doctors performing it, according to a study of 600 patients at nine major clinics.
HEALTH
December 8, 2003 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Colorectal screenings are not pleasant exams, and many people have longed for an easier way to have their large intestine checked for cancerous or precancerous polyps. Last week, they may have thought they had a solution.
SCIENCE
December 2, 2003 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
An X-ray technique called virtual colonoscopy appears to be as effective as the conventional procedure for detecting polyps in the colon but is less invasive, does not require sedation and eliminates the risk of inadvertently puncturing the intestine, researchers said Monday. The procedure does not eliminate the 24-hour cleansing in which wastes are washed out of the intestines -- a process many patients find the most objectionable part of the procedure.
BUSINESS
April 26, 2009
Re: "Cancer exams get political," April 18: The debate over virtual colonoscopy is emblematic of the dysfunctional way America makes healthcare decisions. Whenever a new, expensive procedure comes out, the question seems to be framed, "Should we pay for it?" It is very hard for me to believe that when available knowledge is taken into account and special interest groups have less influence, this procedure could not be performed with as good or better results at a fraction of the current cost.
NATIONAL
March 6, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Medical experts recommended Wednesday that a less-invasive procedure known as a virtual colonoscopy and a stool DNA test join the arsenal of screenings for colon cancer in the hopes that more people would get checked out. The recommendations bring to six the number of screening tests suggested for spotting signs of colon cancer, said Dr. Otis Brawley, national chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, one of the groups that made the recommendations.
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