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More Tests for Colorectal Cancer

Imaging tests are also used to screen for and detect colorectal cancer. These tests use technologies that visualize your body organs and present them like a picture. Imaging tests are also used to determine how far the cancer has spread or how well it is responding, or has responded, to treatment. While some tests still use X-rays, newer technologies use radioactivity (in very tiny doses), ultrasound, or magnetic fields to obtain the pictures.

The imaging test for the initial detection of colorectal cancer is virtual colonoscopy. 

Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

Understanding Colorectal Cancer -- Prevention

To help prevent colorectal cancer, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; cut back on red meat and other high-fat foods, such as eggs and many dairy products. You can get the protein you need from low-fat dairy products (also a good source of calcium), nuts, beans, lentils, and soybean products. Calcium supplements have also been shown in some trials to modestly reduce the risk of colon cancer. Avoid overcooking or barbecuing meats and fish. Eat a diet rich in cereal fiber or bran and yellow...

Read the Understanding Colorectal Cancer -- Prevention article > >

New technology has made it possible for a computer to take CT images of the colon and reconstruct a three-dimensional model of your colon. The inside of this model can be inspected, without causing any pain to you, to search for abnormalities. The test involves enlargement or distension of the colon with air. Early results show promise for screening the colon and detecting small polyps or asymptomatic colorectal cancers. 

The main disadvantage of virtual colonoscopy is that any abnormalities have to be evaluated and treated by real-time colonoscopy. However, it is likely to have a place in screening for colorectal cancer.

 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on July 05, 2012
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