The “virtual" colonoscopy uses high-tech, low-dose X-rays to produce three-dimensional, moving images of the colon. The virtual exam is far less invasive than standard colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy doesn’t require sedation. Afterward, people can go back to daily activities. In particular, elderly Americans who are frail or who have other medical problems will find that this test is easier for them to undergo.
“CT colonography is endorsed by the American Cancer Society as a recommended screening test. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) named virtual colonoscopy an effective screening tool. CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers cover screening virtual colonoscopy. Yet, Medicare refuses to cover seniors for this life-saving exam. All the while, thousands die needlessly each year from a disease that is nearly always treatable when caught early. This must change," said Judy Yee, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee.
The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is a community that provides hope and support to patients and their families, while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research. www.ccalliance.org
The American College of Radiology (ACR), one of the world’s largest medical specialty associations, is devoted to making medical imaging and radiation oncology safe, effective and accessible through its efforts in advocacy, education, clinical research, and quality and safety standards. Its 34,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists.