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ASGE Encourages Patients to Speak to Their Doctor About Colorectal Cancer Screening Options
Date:9/17/2008

Results of the National CT Colonography Trial Raise Questions for Patients

OAK BROOK, Ill., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results of the National CT Colonography Trial, published in the September 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, show improvements in the technology's ability to diagnose intermediate- to large-sized polyps in the colon, but this method of testing is not as effective in diagnosing small polyps. CT colonography is one of several colorectal cancer screening options. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) encourages patients to speak to their doctor about the screening method that is best for them.

"Colorectal cancer is largely preventable and curable when diagnosed in its early stages. Screening saves lives. Unfortunately, far too few people undergo screening for colorectal cancer. Any advances that result in increased screening of the population are encouraging," said ASGE President John L. Petrini, M.D., FASGE. "The results of this trial may prompt those who otherwise would have avoided being tested, to get screened for colorectal cancer. With so many different options to screen for colorectal cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor and discuss which screening method is best for you. Each screening option has appropriate applications and limitations."

CT colonography, also referred to as virtual colonoscopy, relies on a computer program to generate a 3D picture of the large intestine (colon) using x-ray images. This differs from colonoscopy, which provides actual photos of the colon and rectum via a camera attached to a thin, flexible scope that is physically guided through the large intestine.

The results of the National CT Colonography Trial have shown some improvements in the ability of CT colonography to diagnose intermediate- to large-sized polyps. Complete data for 2,531 participants at 15 U.S. centers showed that CT colonography identified large colorectal adenom
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SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
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