TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing colonoscopies frequently complain about having the procedure, which involves threading a camera through the colon to detect precancerous or cancerous growths.
But a new study has found that patients overwhelmingly preferred colonoscopy to the less invasive and less time-consuming CT-based colon scan.
Colonoscopy has long been the standard of care for colon cancer screening. Computed tomography (CT) colonography -- sometimes called "virtual colonoscopy" -- is a newer technology and involves simply scanning the abdomen to look for abnormalities.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world but can largely be prevented with adequate screening.
For this study, 90 patients at average risk for colon cancer underwent CT colonography followed by a colonoscopy within the following two hours. They then answered 13 questions regarding their experience.
All participants underwent the same preparation for the procedure, involving drinking copious amounts of liquid the night before to clean out the bowel.
Three-quarters of the patients said they would opt for a traditional colonoscopy for their next examination.
The remaining one-quarter who preferred CT colonography said they did so because it took less time -- 10 minutes versus about 30 minutes for colonoscopy.
"Overall, patients would prefer colonoscopy for a repeat procedure," said Dr. Greg Rosenfeld, co-author of the study, which is being presented Tuesday at Digestive Disease Week meetings in San Diego.
Specifically, participants reported less anxiety and pain with a colonoscopy, as well as a slight preference for the endoscopy unit (used for colonoscopy) versus the radiation suite (used for CT colonography).
Rosenfeld, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said the researchers were a "little bit sur
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