Patients received mild sedation and were conscious during the colonoscopy. No sedation or painkiller was given for the CT colonography, which involves distending the stomach with carbon dioxide.
A second study presented at the conference found that patients' perception of the preparation required for a colonoscopy (often cited as onerous and uncomfortable) affected not only how clean the colon was but also how accurately polyps and adenomas were detected.
For this study, 430 patients undergoing colonoscopy completed an 18-point questionnaire regarding how clean their bowel was and other aspects of their experience with the procedure.
There was a correlation between how well the bowel was prepared and both how clean the bowel was at the time of the colonoscopy and how many adenomas were found.
"How many adenomas we found is directly associated with how many cancers develop and how many lives we could save," said study lead author Dr. Edward Holt, a gastroenterology fellow with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
After adjusting for various factors, women were found to be, overall, less satisfied with the experience. It's not clear why, but the fact that women are more likely than men to have irritable bowel syndrome may be related, Holt said.
Because the studies were presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on colorectal cancer.
SOURCE: May 22, 2012, press conference with Greg Rosenfeld, M.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and Edward Holt, M.D., gastroenterology fellow, California Pacific Medical Center,
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