Which Scan Is Better?
Lately there has been a movement of sorts to find an alternative technique that will bring more people to get their screenings done. Currently a CTC scan or CT-colonography is being touted as the replacement to the colonoscopy scan as it is less invasive and catches many of the same polyps that the traditional colonoscopy would find. The following stat was even quoted a few months back in the February issue of Best Life:
"90 – Percentage of precancerous growths detected by a CTC scan of the colon. This scan is a noninvasive technique compared with the colonoscopy, an uncomfortable (but necessary) cancer screening that many people avoid."
Is The CTC Scan Really A Better OptionConsidering the potential benefits to getting a CTC scan, you would think this is a winning technique but over at The Bellingham Herald Blog the comparison between the CTC scan and colonoscopy was more fully examined. The conclusion they came up with was that the cost was too high for the CTC scan to be a common replacement due to its large number of false positives, the large miss rate of the scan, and the multiple tests that would have to be run on those who needed a follow-up colonoscopy.
They are right too; with a miss rate and false positive rate so high most insurance plans would not pay for this test and if they did they would drive health care premiums up as resources are further spread thin due to an increase in procedures.
However, my take is this: There are many people out there that will not get a colonoscopy for one reason or another. For these people who refuse screening due to personal reasons the CTC scan will at least offer them an alternative screening tool which might catch something (or might not) that would otherwise go unfound. This would cost them a fair amount in dollars but at least it’s an option for those who currently refuse care. I think it’s a good plan-B and I think it can only improve in accuracy as technology continues to develop.
Another routine cancer screening that many men put off is their prostate screenings. It has been found that those people who consistently eat veggies high in glucosinolates (i.e. cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) cut their risk for prostate cancer in half. The glucosinolates end up boosting the production of cancer-fighting enzymes… maybe these enzymes can help in the fending off of colon cancer as well. At least it couldn’t hurt.
- Bellingham Herald Blog
- Best Life, Feb 2009