NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 4, 2010) Rates of colorectal cancer screening vary by race and ethnicity as well as method, according to data being presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010. Scientists examine data on minority and older populations as well as utilization rates of virtual and optical colonoscopies to better understand adherence to recommended screening guidelines. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.
Impact of a CT Colonography Colorectal Cancer Screening Program on Optical Colonoscopy: 5 Year Data (Abstract #683a)
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that increased accessibility of virtual colonoscopies, colonoscopies completed via CT scan, did not decrease the use of traditional optical colonoscopies for colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings.
Virtual colonoscopy, which was introduced nearly 10 years ago as a non-invasive alternative to colorectal cancer screenings, allows physicians to examine the colon and surrounding areas for polyps and other irregularities. However, virtual colonoscopies only allow physicians to spot certain polyps, creating a need for additional tests if polyps are found. Traditional colonoscopies remain the gold standard test for CRC screenings since doctors are able to identify and remove polyps in one test.
"Previous theoretical studies showed that once virtual colonoscopies became accepted as a national screen test, regular colonoscopies would be reduced by 25 percent," said Patrick Pfau, MD, associate professor and director of clinical gastroenterology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "But since our virtual colonoscopy program began in 2004, we have seen no change. In fact, we have seen an increase in the number of traditional colonoscopies."
In 2004, the University of Wisconsin became the first instituti
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Digestive Disease Week