No Scope: CT scan works as well as colonoscopy

8:30am, December 3, 2003

For anyone seeking to avoid the unpleasantness and discomfort of a colonoscopy, here's good news: A computed tomography (CT) scan that provides a "virtual colonoscopy" of the large intestine is just as adept at detecting signs of cancer as is a viewing device moved through the colon, a new study finds.

A team led by researchers at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., used a CT scanner to generate three-dimensional images of the colon, an emerging technique that seems to be more accurate than typical two-dimensional CT scanning. The 3-D images consistently revealed polyps growing inside the colon. Such growths aren't necessarily cancerous, but some can develop into tumors.

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