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Despite Advances in the Accuracy of CT Colonography in Detecting Polyps, Digestive Health Experts Urge Patients to Consider Risks and Realities
Date:10/4/2007

air or gas, the patients, who are not sedated and awake tend to feel discomfort. In addition, the fact that some percentage of patients will be required to follow up a CT colonography with a therapeutic or, in cases where there the CT results are not clear, a second diagnostic colonoscopy, has patient acceptance and economic implications.

"Patient acceptance is another key factor in evaluating the promise of a new technology. The fact that patients undergoing optical colonoscopy are sedated and do not experience pain in association with the procedure and they will be able to have an examination and any necessary therapeutic intervention in a single visit will be important in evaluating which test is best for a particular patient," added Dr. Johnson.

It is important for patients to understand that no guideline group, including the American Cancer Society or the Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer has yet endorsed CT colonography as appropriate for colorectal cancer screening.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, colonoscopy remains the best test and the current gold standard for colorectal cancer screening and prevention. Three studies have shown that colonoscopy prevents about 80 percent of colorectal cancers from developing by removing pre-cancerous polyps. "The public should recognize that there is no evidence that any radiographic test, including CT colonography prevents the development of colorectal cancer," said Dr. David Johnson.

"There is a tremendous body of evidence that shows that clearing the colon of polyps, including small polyps, significantly reduces colorectal cancer mortality. Because of its excellent sensitivity in detecting polyps and its potential for removing them and breaking the sequence of polyp to cancer in a single diagnostic and therapeutic intervention, colonoscopy is one of the most powerful preventive tools in clinical medicine. Until a radiographic test can meet that standard, gas
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SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology
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