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News

CT Colonography is recommended as a screening tool for colorectal cancer

American College Of Radiology : 06 March, 2008  (New Product)
In the first-ever joint consensus guidelines for colorectal cancer screening, released jointly by the ACS, ACR, and the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, which is a group that comprises representatives from the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
CTC, which also known as virtual colonoscopy, is now included as one of several options for colorectal cancer screening and prevention in average-risk adults age 50 years and older and recommended to be received once every five years.

CT colonography employs cutting-edge, virtual reality technology to produce three-dimensional ‘fly through’ images that permit a thorough and minimally invasive evaluation of the entire colorectal structure. No sedation is required for the exam, allowing patients to resume normal activity, including driving, immediately after the procedure.

Since most colon cancers develop from polyps, and screening to find and remove these polyps can prevent colon cancer, an enormous opportunity exists to save lives with early detection. Yet, despite the known benefits of screening, studies indicate that the majority of Americans aged 50 and older are not being screened for the disease.

'CT colonography, as a minimally invasive exam, can potentially encourage many more people to choose to be screened for colorectal cancer. This could result in early detection of the disease for more patients, increasing the chance of successful treatment, and potentially reduce colorectal cancer deaths nationwide,' said Arl Van Moore Jr, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

Results of the National CT Colonography Trial coordinated by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) and presented at the 2007 ACRIN Fall Meeting suggest CTC is comparable to optical colonoscopy for the detection of cancer and clinically significant polyps when state-of-the-art techniques are applied and radiologists trained in the procedure read images. The results of the ACRIN trial are to be published later this spring.

To ensure acceptable, consistent levels of performance, all providers who offer this test should implement quality assurance measures. The American College of Radiology has published practice guidelines for CTC, and has outlined practice-based quality metrics.

'Radiologists are undergoing the latest training and education to remain at the cutting edge of this technology. The ACR has taken, and continues to take, steps to standardize the performance and interpretation of this exam nationwide, in order to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care,' said Moore.

The ACR will open an interactive hands-on training facility for CTC and other cutting-edge imaging procedures. CTC training courses will begin in April 2008. A process for individual certification and proficiency is being evaluated.

'The ACR urges patients to begin being screened for colorectal cancer at age 50 and we strongly urge Medicare and private insurance companies to support screening efforts by reimbursing appropriately for CT colonography,' said Moore.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in the USA.
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