If you're 50+, it's time to schedule your colon screening.

 

Now available as a Virtual CT! A real alternative to life-saving colon cancer screening

  • 15 minute painless outpatient procedure
  • No sedation, no need for second driver
  • And now, same-day colonoscopy can be performed if a polyp is found...WITH NO ADDITIONAL PREP!
  • Colon cancer is almost completely preventable when found early

Prevent it. Treat it. Beat it.

Dr. S. Reddy, H. Hinton R.T., Dr. Darren Ballard

 

If you're 50 or older, getting screened for colorectal cancer should be high on your list of priorities. Why? Because it saves lives. Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers of all, but its most common early symptom is usually no symptom at all. That's why screening is so important.

When our doctor prescribes it, most of us choose colonoscopy, the gold standard for screening and prevention, recommended every 10 years. But then again, whether it's the inability to tolerate anesthesia or being squeamish about the long colonoscopy tube, most of us are not getting screened at all.

Here's the good news. Now there's safe, effective, minimally invasive option called "virtual colonoscopy," and UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial offers it.

The technical name for this minimally invasive alternative is called CT colonography (CTC). It combines non-invasive CT scan technology with sophisticated 3-D software to give radiologists a clear visual inside the colon and rectum. This screening is recommended every five years.

That 'clear view' does involve a similar prep as colonoscopy. Both procedures require a clean colon, meaning only clear liquids for two days and a lot of laxative solution the day before.

"During a virtual colonoscopy, a CT scan of the abdomen creates 3-D images able to show polyps and other abnormalities inside the wall of the colon and rectum that can grow larger and develop into cancer if untreated," explained Syam Reddy, M.D., diagnostic radiologist with a body-imaging subspecialty on staff at Ingalls.

For the less than 10 percent of people whose virtual exam results in finding a polyp, you'll need a traditional colonoscopy to have it removed or biopsied. And, we'll help facilitate your same day treatment with a gastroenterologist, which would preclude the need for a second prep.

"The newer procedure is less invasive since the tube inserted into the rectum is shorter than the one used for a colonoscopy, there are fewer complications, and the accuracy is comparable to colonoscopy for patients at average risk," said Dr. Reddy. "Those with higher risk, such as African Americans or those with a family history of colon cancer, may need to be screened earlier."

If you're getting close to 50, start the colorectal screening discussion at your next check-up. Talk to your doctor, or call 708-915-COLO (2656).

More Information on a Virtual Screening
Videos

Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy What to Expect

Dr. Reddy

Dr. Ballard