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Options in screening for colon cancer include fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, computed tomography (CT) colonography and fecal DNA tests.1 Since the last Medical Letter article on this subject,2 more data have become available on colonography.
TECHNIQUE — Rapid helical CT scanners are used to generate both traditional axial (2-D) images and volumetric (3-D) images that create a luminal view of the colon. “Fly-through” software allows the examiner to move through the colonic lumen in a manner similar to colonoscopy, allowing polyps and mass lesions to be identified, measured, and localized. To prepare for CT colonography, patients must complete a standard bowel cleansing (clear liquid diet and cathartic) the day prior to the procedure. In some centers, patients are also asked to ingest barium and/or gastrograffin to tag fecal matter and... more