JANUARY 2--Health-Scan Inc. (Bellevue, WA; www.health-scan.com), a provider of technologically advanced health-screening services, is offering CT colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, to screen for colon cancer. Health-Scan is the only center in the Northwest actively providing this test in conjunction with heart and lung preventative scans.
According to a recent study by the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CT colonography was found to be faster, safer, more pleasant, and equally effective as the traditional invasive technique for identifying clinically significant polyps. The study was published in the Journal of Radiology (June 2001). Says Health-Scan CEO Tom Giannulli, MD, "CT colonography takes just a few minutes and requires no sedation, so patients can return to home or work immediately after the test."
CT colonography uses an advanced CT scan to detect colon polyps or cancers in the colon. Newly developed software creates 2-D and 3-D images on the computer that look similar to those seen by conventional colonoscopy. In addition to evaluating the entire colon for clinically significant polyps, the CT system also can be used for early detection of heart disease, lung cancer, aneurysms, and other serious medical problems.
Several studies are currently ongoing to evaluate CT colonography and further establish its efficacy with respect to conventional colonoscopy.