When detected early, colorectal cancer is 80% preventable. Finding colorectal cancer before symptoms develop can dramatically improve the chance of survival. Both men and women can develop colorectal cancer and can reduce their risk by regular screenings after the age of 45.
Virtual colonography is performed utilizing a CT scanner. It is a noninvasive, sophisticated, medical test that utilizes computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body.
Both an interior and exterior view of the colon is obtained, which can be viewed on a computer from multiple angles. The entire exam is usually completed within 30 minutes. No IV or sedation is required for this exam.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate lung and gastrointestinal cancers. Combined with PET/CT scans, it provides high-resolution images so physicians can confirm the stage of the cancer, explore its exact location, determine the depth of a tumor in the wall of the colon, assess if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or organs, and determine the optimal course of treatment. Highly trained gastroenterologists perform these procedures.
EUS involves the use of a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope to examine patients. Within the endoscope is an ultrasound transducer, which produces sound waves to create images of the colon. With these detailed images, the extent of the cancer is determined.
EUS can also guide fine-needle biopsies and is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery when combined with a biopsy.