Colonoscopies Save Lives: Are there Viable Alternatives?

When it comes to colorectal cancer, early diagnosis is critical because colon polyps go unnoticed most of the time. Polyps are cell growths on the lining of the colon or large intestine. If you have them, it’s best to have them removed. Polyps don’t turn cancerous in every case, but your risk of developing cancer increases with the type, number and size of colon polyps you have.

Colon polyps affect upwards of 200,000 people a year. Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. If caught early on, it can easily be treated. Typically, there are little to no signs or symptoms of colon polyps, so it’s essential to have screenings on a regular basis. In 2018, the American Cancer Society updated screening guideline recommendations for persons at average risk to begin colon cancer screening at age 45. The previous recommendation was age 50.

Due to the preparation and the perceived reputation of the procedure, many people put off having a colonoscopy, but this is detrimental. It’s imperative to be screened for colorectal polyps. If you’re considering or currently rely on at home tests that you mail into a lab to check a sample of your stool, these have an extremely high false positive rate.

There is Another Way.

Virtual Colonoscopy
A virtual colonoscopy is a CT scan of the colon without the need for anesthesia or a colonoscope. A virtual colonoscopy captures intricate images of the colon lining and will show polyps or any irregularities. This test is highly accurate at finding polyps.

Procedure Details
A virtual colonoscopy procedure requires the same oral preparations as a traditional colonoscopy to clear stool from the colon. The procedure will begin by having air introduced into the colon through a small enema tip. This allows distention of the colon to enable the CT scanner to take detailed 3D images. The procedure requires you to lie comfortably on the scanning table first on your back and then on your stomach. The test takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Accuracy of a Virtual Colonoscopy
Recent medical research, including studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that Virtual Colonoscopy is nearly as accurate as the conventional Colonoscopy screening in detecting significant polyps. Researchers from the National CT Colonography Trial gathered results from 15 different medical facilities that showed that virtual colonoscopy was able to detect 90% of polyps 10 millimeters or more in diameter. That’s the same accuracy reported for colonoscopy itself in other studies. Colonoscopy is, however, able to detect much smaller polyps.1

Results
After your exam, a board-certified radiologist will review your CT images. As with other procedures offered at Radiology Regional, confidential reports will be generated and mailed to you within 3 business days. In the event of a positive test, the report will be sent to your referring physician at your request.

What if Polyps are Detected?
If the radiologist sees one or more polyps, you will be instructed to schedule a with a gastroenterologist that will perform a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy, the polyps will be removed and tested for cancer. In some cases a sigmoidoscopy may be recommended.

Why should I go to Radiology Regional for this exam?
Radiology Regional has been providing high-quality diagnostic services in Southwest Florida for 50 years. The Center is owned and operated by an innovative and devoted group of board-certified radiologists educated at distinguished institutions such as Duke, Harvard and Mount Sinai.The skills required to interpret virtual studies are different from those required for conventional Colonoscopy. Virtual Colonoscopy requires a radiologist trained in reconstructing and interpreting the images from the CT scanner.

How much does a Virtual Colonoscopy cost and is it covered by insurance?
We are currently offering the Virtual Colonoscopy health screening at an introductory price of $490. Since the Virtual Colonoscopy is a screening exam, it’s not covered by Medicare or private insurance. Full payment is required at the time of service.

Why Radiology Regional?
Radiology Regional is a physician-owned, well-established imaging practice with over 30 board-certified radiologists that work closely with your doctor. You will get personalized service and expertise in a warm, comfortable environment, which is not always offered with a big group or hospital-owned organization. Radiology Regional also provides the newest technological advances. Their superior imaging equipment includes 3T wide-bore MRI, 256 Slice CT, 3D Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, PET Scans, and Siemens ultrasound. Radiology Regional is a premier diagnostic facility that takes pride in offering the highest quality healthcare to the community.

At Radiology Regional, they take your health personally. They have a group of in-house, subspecialty, fellowship-trained radiologists that are experts in diagnosing and detecting conditions within the abdominal and pelvic areas, including the prostate. The machines they invest in are not standard; these are state-of-the-art, high-tech imaging equipment that can find even the most intricate details that would otherwise be missed.

Radiology Regional has a high-resolution prostate MRI protocol to find small prostate cancers, a dynamic MRI to diagnose pelvic organ prolapse, MRI protocol technique to accurately stage rectal cancer for surgical planning, specific protocols to best evaluate the ovaries and uterus and MRI technique to focus on the bones and muscles. All imaging exams are not equal, and Radiology Regional goes above and beyond to offer high-quality studies to help guide medical management.

For over 50 years, Radiology Regional has expanded its scope of services and number of outpatient facilities to meet the growing needs of their patients and referring physicians. Radiology Regional has thirteen, ACR/IAC accredited and convenient locations to serve you. Their dedicated team of board-certified radiologists, registered technologists, and other specialists are committed to providing their patients with exceptional care utilizing the most advanced technology and techniques available.

Radiology Regional has 13 locations in 3 counties, Lee, Collier and Charlotte.

Ask your physician to refer you to Radiology Regional for your imaging needs. Make your choice the best choice for you!

Contact Radiology Regional today at
(941) 255-7945, (239) 425-4678 (Español)

18300 Murdock Circle, Building #15
Port Charlotte (Behind the Surgery Center)
www.radiologyregional.com

Source:
1. https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/research/
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