CT Virtual Colonoscopy: Screening for One of America's Deadliest Diseases

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and the Desert Radiology medical team has taken this opportunity to talk about screening for colon cancer, one of the leading causes of death for men in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 23 men are at risk of developing colorectal cancer during their lifetime.

Additionally, they claim colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among men and women and the second most common cause of cancer deaths overall. Because of colon cancer’s severity, multiple techniques have been used to detect growing cancers in the rectum and large intestine. While traditional colonoscopies are often uncomfortable for the patient, our state-of-the-art technology and imaging team offers a more comfortable virtual colon cancer screening called a CT Virtual Colonoscopy as a solution to aide in detecting cancers and abnormalities.

What is a CT Virtual Colonoscopy?

A CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a non-invasive test that allows doctors to examine the large intestine for cancer and growths called polyps. During the exam, a small tube is inserted a short distance into the rectum to allow air to inflate the rectum and large intestine so detailed 3D images can be taken. This procedure is advantageous compared to traditional colonoscopies because it is more comfortable for the patient and doesn’t require a colon scope or sedation. The entire process takes about 20 minutes, and most patients can resume their normal diet and daily activities as soon as the procedure is finished.

When Should I Consider a CT Virtual Colonoscopy?

The American Cancer Society recommends patients begin screening for colon cancer at age 50 and advises them to screen for the disease again every three or four years thereafter. Patients with a family history of colon cancer are advised to screen for the disease earlier in life and should consider more frequent screenings to stay ahead of the disease.

How Should I Prepare for a CT Virtual Colonoscopy?

This procedure requires oral preparations to clear stool from your colon leading up to the procedure. You may also be asked to restrict yourself to clear liquids the day before the exam and will be asked to take an oral contrast medium dye the day before the exam to aid in the imaging process. It’s also advised you wear loose comfortable clothes the day of the exam and are prepared to change into a gown before the procedure begins.

Here at Desert Radiology, we pride ourselves in being a proactive resource for our patients on imaging procedures that benefit their health and wellness. We recommend patients over the age of 50, or those with a family history of colon cancer, begin having the preventative screening conversation with their regular doctor. Like with most forms of cancer, early detection is critical and offers the best chances of successful treatment. Whenever you are ready to schedule a CT Virtual Colonoscopy, Desert Radiology is here with a professional team of technicians and staff members that are ready accommodate your needs and provide you the best service in the industry.

What Our Patients Are Saying About Us

“I can’t say enough about my experience at Desert Radiology. Everyone from the receptionist, to the nurses, to the PA, that did the procedure. I had to have a port put in, for chemotherapy. They were so kind and treated me, as if, I was there only patient. It meant so much, especially when you have to go through cancer treatment.”


Patricia Alaimo