Excerpts from a chat on colon cancer

Jim (Buffalo Grove, IL) – 12:44 PM:
You mention a virtual colonoscopy. How does this procedure work and is it a viable option to the traditional colonoscopy?

Dr. Manoj Mehta
A traditional colonoscopy has the ability to not just identify polyps but remove them. So they are not really equivalent. A virtual colonoscopy is more like a barium enema (lower GI x-ray). Instead of plain x-rays, though, it uses a CT scanner. I think if it were not for the high-tech name “virtual colonoscopy”, most people would correctly perceive this as a high-tech lower GI. If you’ve ever had one, you would understand the limitations. Currently, the consensus is that virtual colonoscopy is not ready for prime time. This may be an option in the future, however.

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