Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cancer Screening: What's New

A screening called virtual colonoscopy is a less invasive means to identify colorectal cancer. According to a study at the American College of Radiology/American Roentgen Ray Society, the virtual colonoscopy examines the entire abdomen and pelvis for cancer. Study author Dr. Ganesh R. Veerappan said that this method of screening "should be considered as an alternative to optical colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening or as a onetime procedure to identify significant treatable intracolonic an extracolonic lesions."

Imagine a simple annual 100% effective blood test to see if you have ovarian cancer. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed this new kind screening.

Typically, patients don't know they have ovarian cancer because it is asymtomatic in its early stages. The new approach can detect this "silent killer" before it has reached very advanced stages (80% of patients are diagnosed at later stages.)

The implications may be "earth-shatteringly important" because "it's possible that there are also signatures for other cancers, not just ovarian, so (they're) also going to be using the same approach to look at other types of cancers."


The majority of biopsies being done are less invasive than ever before. That's because with the help of imaging in the form of CT scans, ultrasound and MRI, a needle is guided to remove tissue or fluids to test for disease. An "image-guided biopsy (also) allows more definitive diagnosis and shorter hospital stays," according to Dr. Robert Quencer, chair of radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The use of imaging guidance also enables more efficient and safer targeting of lesions.

Source: MedlinePlus, health information from the National Library of Medicine

For more on cancer screening and colonoscopy, visit


Diane J Standiford said...

Liver savers for people with disabilities, for whom a simple colonoscopy prep is impossible.

Diane J Standiford said...

I get the CA125 blood draw yearly since 1995, when I had ovarian cancer.