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Easier, Safer Colon Cancer Test?

Cutting-Edge Technologies Promise Less Discomfort, More Accurate Results

Colonoscopy Beats out Virtual Colonoscopy

Also at the meeting, researchers reported that colonoscopy is far more accurate than colonoscopy than virtual colonoscopy for detecting polyps that can lead to cancerous growths. Virtual colonoscopy used computer generated images from a CT scan to look for colon abnormalities.

More surprisingly, the study shows that people are more willing to have a repeat colonoscopy than a repeat virtual colonoscopy, says Don C. Rockey, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Liver Center at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Many studies have shown that people "prefer the idea" of a virtual colonoscopy, he notes. That's because it uses computer-generated images of the large colon to detect polyps, avoiding the need to insert a long scope into the colon.

But once they have actually experienced both procedures, people preferred traditional colonoscopy. "I can only speculate why," Rockey tells WebMD, "but it's probably because they were sedated. They get narcotics to dull the pain and medication to relax, like Valium."

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