There has been a lot of Internet buzz lately about the pros and cons of virtual colonoscopies. This is a relatively new way of screening for colon cancer that uses X-rays and computer images. A regular colonoscopy involves a scope that winds through the colon, checking for cancer or abnormal growths (polyps) that can become cancerous.  

Men and women may avoid the traditional procedure if they feel squeamish about scopes.  But in a Webmd article, Salynn Boyles writes, “One big drawback is that virtual colonoscopy can only detect growths, requiring another procedure to remove them. Traditional colonoscopy can detect and remove them in the same procedure.”

One thing is certain. You have to go through the same colon-cleansing procedure if you decide on a traditional or virtual colonoscopy.  Many people consider the prep the w0rst part of the ordeal.

Statistics are telling. According to the article, “The American Cancer Society estimates that only about 40 percent of people over the age of 50 are getting any kind of screening for colon cancer.”

I’m not going to use this forum to tell you to get a virtual colonoscopy. You’ll have to do the research and talk with your doctor. But colorectal screening is critical as you approach middle age.  If former Today Show host Katie Couric had the guts to have a colonoscopy on live television, you should be able to get your buns to the doctor’s office to schedule a procedure.

The Wedmd article can be found at: http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/news/20090616/virtual-colonoscopy-who-should-get-it

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