A recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology has reconfirmed that virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography) is an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer in seniors age 65 and older. In response to these results, those of a landmark 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, and those of a study published this year in Radiology, the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and American College of Radiology (ACR) call upon Congress to pass H.R. 4165 — the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act. Passage of this bill would cover Medicare beneficiaries for this life-saving exam.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 30,000 colorectal cancer deaths each year could be prevented if all those age 50 and older were screened regularly. However, roughly one-third of those who should be screened for colorectal cancer — the nation's second leading cancer killer — never get tested. This is particularly true among minorities where screening rates are much lower. Studies at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and Naval Medical Center in San Diego have shown that the availability of the virtual exam significantly boosted colorectal cancer screening rates — a vital step to saving more lives.