FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Not only does virtual
colonoscopy identify colorectal cancer, it also boosts the
likelihood of detecting cancers outside of the colon, a new study
Virtual colonoscopy is less invasive than regular colonoscopy.
In addition to offering doctors a look at the inside of the colon,
virtual colonoscopy examines the entire abdomen and pelvis.
The ability of virtual colonoscopy to identify significant
lesions outside the colon at an early, treatable stage "may
increase the yield" of colorectal cancer screening, thus
underscoring its potential as a major screening technique, study
author Dr. Ganesh R. Veerappan said in a news release from the
American College of Radiology/American Roentgen Ray Society.
The study included 2,277 people who underwent a virtual
colonoscopy. Findings of cancers and lesions outside the colon were
identified in 1,037 of the patients, including 787 insignificant
and 240 significant findings.
Regarding findings outside the colon, a virtual colonoscopy
"increased the odds of identifying high-risk lesions by 78 percent.
[It] should be considered as an alternative to optical colonoscopy
for colorectal cancer screening or as a onetime procedure to
identify significant treatable intracolonic and extracolonic
lesions," Veerappan said.
The study appears in the September issue of the
American Journal of Roentgenology.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about