Colon cancer is the most common form of cancer in the developed world, which has a risk that is further perpetuated by the fact that roughly 1 in 3 adults (ages 50-75) fail to participate in any form of detection or screening.1  In a traditional colonoscopy, a camera is inserted into the colon via the anus and the colon is examined for the presence of polyps or other abnormalities (lesions). Virtual colonoscopy uses a computed tomography (CT) machine to take many X-rays of the colon. This process is beneficial because it allows for colorectal cancer detection through a non-invasive process, which in turn promotes the benefits of screening. It is also important to note that if anything is found via colonography, physicians will recommend a colonoscopy as a follow-up. However, a colonography provides an acceptable level of screening protection. A comparison study found similar detection rates between computerized and normal colonoscopy.2

Get more details on virtual colonoscopy in the colonoscopy section.

For more information about colonography visit the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

  • 1Kumar, M., & Cash, B. D. (2017). Screening and Surveillance of Colorectal Cancer Using CT Colonography. Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology. doi:10.1007/s11938-017-0121-7
  • 2Kim, D. H., & Pickhardt, P. J. (2008). CT Colonography versus Colonoscopy for the Detection of Advanced Neoplasia. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(1), 88-90. doi:10.1056/nejmc073084