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An Easier Colonoscopy Exists!

If you are like many of us, you may be reluctant to have a colonoscopy because of the unpleasant nature of traditional screening methods. A CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a new, less invasive alternative for the screening of colorectal cancer, and it is available at Fairfax Radiology. 

Medical guidelines recommend both men and women have regular colonoscopies beginning at age 45 (or at age 40 if there is a family history of colon cancer) to identify and remove any pre-cancerous polyps that may be present years before cancer even develops.  

What is a CT Virtual Colonoscopy? 

CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a safe and reliable screening alternative for patients that cannot or choose not to undergo conventional screening. It may be used to aid in the early detection of colon cancer.  

Why would my physician recommend a Virtual Colonoscopy? 

Your physician may recommend a Virtual Colonoscopy if you cannot undergo conventional screening for any reason, have a contraindication to sedation, are taking blood-thinners or have a history of unsuccessful conventional colonoscopies.  

What should I expect during a Virtual Colonoscopy? 

During a Virtual Colonoscopy, Computed Tomography (CT) imaging is used to create a three-dimensional image of your colon. During the procedure, you will lie on the padded scanner table and a small tube will be inserted into your rectum, filling your colon with air to the extent you can tolerate. The table will slide into the scanner as images of your colon are obtained. This will be repeated twice: once while you lie faceup and once while you lie face down. The entire exam takes approximately 10-15 minutes. 

What are the signs and symptoms of Colorectal Cancer? 

Some or all of the following symptoms may indicate the presence of cancer. While not all patients with these findings have cancer, the American Cancer Society advises you to look for: 

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days 

  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved 
    by doing so 

  • Rectal bleeding 

  • Dark stools, or blood in the stool 

  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain 

  • Weakness and fatigue 

  • Unintended weight loss 

If you have any of these problems, you should go to the doctor to find the cause and find out if CT Virtual Colonoscopy is right for you. 

Click here to learn more about CT Virtual Colonoscopy. 

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