Tag Archives: CT colonography

Virtual Colonoscopy Works for Older Folks Too

 Time to catch up on some colorectal cancer news that we might have missed. In Nutshell News: Virtual colonoscopy works just as well for over 65′s, over-the-counter and prescription stomach acid is connected to c. difficile diarrhea, and the recession cut into colorectal cancer screening among people with health insurance.

CT Colonography Finds Cancers Outside the Colon

Looking at more than 10,000 screening CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy exams, doctors found cancers in 1 in every 200 patients, but more often those cancers were not colorectal cancer, but unsuspected cancer found outside the colon. The tests found 22 colorectal cancers (1 in every 500 patients examined) and 36 other cancers (1 in every 300 patients.)  More than half were found at an early stage I.  After an average follow-up time of 30 months, only 3 patients had died of cancer. Renal cell cancer was the most frequent extracolonic cancer, discovered in 11 patients who didn’t have symptoms.  Eight lung cancers were also found along with six cases

CT Colonography Effective in Older Adults

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) found more than twice the rate of large polyps or cancer in patients 65 and older compared to everyone being screened for colorectal cancer using the radiology-based test. About one in six older patients was referred for an optical colonoscopy based on findings from the scans. There were no major complications including colon perforations or bleeding, from either the CT procedure or the follow-up colonoscopy.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: May 23

Research this week finds that people with severe cancer weight loss get less benefit from fentanyl pain patches and explores why people with Down Syndrome have less cancer. In other headlines, shut-down of a Canadian nuclear reactor threatens the supply of medical isotopes used in many cancer tests.  Free drug samples may do more harm than good, and CT colonography finds cancers and other serious conditions outside the colon in about 2 or 3 out of 100 tests.  Finally, we provide a link to a Cancer.Net podcast with information about what to expect from your colonoscopy.

ACS's Brawley Disappointed by CMS CT Colonography Denial

American Cancer Society Chief Medical Officer Otis W. Brawley, M.D., says that he is disappointed in the decision by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services not to cover CT colonography screening for elderly Americans on Medicare. Dr. Brawley points out that randomized clinical trials have shown the CTC option as effective as traditional optical colonoscopy in finding early cancers and precancerous polyps.  He also concerned that there is not a sufficient supply of trained specialists providing colonoscopy to meet the need for screening and that new options are needed. The American Cancer Society believes, Brawley says, that a full battery of testing for colorectal cancer screening should be available,

CMS Says CT Colonography Evidence Insufficient: Medicare Won't Cover It

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid issued a final National Coverage Decision on May 12, 2009 denying Medicare payments for CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) to screen for colorectal cancer. Despite an overwhelming number of comments urging that CMS overturn their provisional determination not to cover the test, the agency remained unconvinced that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that CT colonography was appropriate to screen for colorectal cancer. Almost 95 percent of 357 comments supported CT colonography screening, including comments from the American Cancer Society and C3:Colorectal Cancer Coalition. Briefly, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concludes the following: The evidence is inadequate to conclude that CT colonography

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: May 1

A new type of drug was successful in helping patients with cancer cachexia regain muscle and strength, and counting circulating tumor cells helped predict survival for people with advanced colorectal cancer. Free colonoscopies are available through a Connecticut program, the FDA and FTC warn the public to be wary of websites or ads promising treatments for 2009 H1N1 influenza, and people in remote areas of Arizona were able to have CT colonoscopy screening with teleradiology.

C3 Asks Medicare to Reconsider Decision Not to Cover CT Colonography

In response to a proposed national coverage decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services not to pay for screening CT colonography (CTC) for Medicare enrollees, C3 has submitted comments asking that CMS cover screening CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) as part of a Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) process. A CED would enable CMS to determine if CT colonography is safe and effective in the older Medicare population and which patients might benefit from screening using CTC rather than optical colonoscopy. We believe that older patients should have a choice for colorectal cancer screening methods after a discussion of the risks and benefits of each method with their doctors. 

Medicare Won't Cover CT Colonography

On February 11, 2009 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed national coverage decision memorandum not to pay for computed tomographic colonography (so-called virtual colonoscopy) to screen for colorectal cancer. The evidence is inadequate to conclude that CT colonography is an appropriate colorectal cancer screening test under §1861(pp)(1) of the Social Security Act. CT colonography for colorectal cancer screening remains noncovered. The national coverage decision will not be final until 30 days after February 11 to allow for public comments.  Individuals and organizations concerned about the proposed decision can submit a comment online. However, CMS does not now cover screening CT colonography. IMPORTANT: If you want

CT Colonography Can Also Detect Osteoporosis

CT colonography (so-called virtual colonoscopy or CTC) can also detect osteoporosis during colorectal cancer screening. Using the same images obtained while looking for colorectal polyps, a different software program can examine the spine for bone mineral density.  Low bone mineral density  is a symptom of osteoporosis which increases risk for broken bones.

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