- The growths tend to be smaller when they are cancerous — the size of a nickel instead of a quarter — and are level with the colon wall or depressed like a pothole. They blend in with the surrounding tissue and are difficult to spot.
- While knobby polyps were found in four times as many participants, more than half the colon cancers found — 15 of 28 — were in flat and depressed growths. Thirteen were in polyps.
- Undetected flat growths could explain some mysterious "interval cancers" that show up between screenings in people who have regular colonoscopies, experts said.
While I understand the addition of a virtual colonoscopy, which may be more acceptable for the public to accept rather than having a endoscope inserted into the colon for evaluation, I'm not so sure that the radiation exposure related to this screening test is justified. I suspect in the end it was added because:
- The biggest issue is not which screening a patient should get, but that patients come in for screening. All colon cancer deaths can be averted through screening and early treatment, but only 30 percent of people recommended to get screenings actually do, according to the Cancer Society.
- "The challenge we have is getting people to participate in screenings," said Jack Mandel, an epidemiologist who has studied tests. "We can prevent these deaths."