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Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program

Virtual Colonoscopy: A Less Invasive Alternative

Facts About Colon Cancer

Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

If you meet any of the conditions listed below, you might be at risk for Colon Cancer:

What is Virtual Colonoscopy?

Virtual Colonoscopy is a less invasive test that can evaluate your risk for colon cancer. It is a CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis. A small tube is placed in the rectum and the technologist fills the colon with air. A series of x-ray pictures are taken and a special computer generates detailed 2D and 3D images of the colon. A trained Board Certified Radiologist then looks at the images of your colon for polyps. If polyps are found, you must see a specialist to have the polyps removed through a conventional colonoscopy.

A bowel prep is required to completely cleanse the colon. Our staff at the University Imaging Center sends everything you need before your scheduled appointment.

Who is a Candidate for Virtual Colonoscopy?

Anyone over the age of 50 or anyone who has risk factors for colon cancer is a candidate for Virtual Colonoscopy. Patients with personal or family history of cancer or polyps may require earlier screening.

Why Should I Consider Virtual Colonoscopy?

Virtual Colonoscopy is less invasive; there is no sedation and less discomfort than with the traditional Colonoscopy. Virtual Colonoscopy has a high medically documented success rate of identifying patients with and without polyps or who need further intervention.

In addition, although 90% of colon cancers are diagnosed in people greater than 50 years of age, less than 10% of all people screened will need to have polyps removed.

Does Insurance Cover the Virtual Colonoscopy Exam?

Insurance coverage varies depending your insurance company and insurance benefit levels. Please check with your insurance company.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact the University Imaging Center at (410) 328-3225 or (410) 328-7324.

For More Information:

Virtual Colonoscopy: The latest colon cancer screening tool


This page was last updated on: April 26, 2010.


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