Health Watch - Father's Day: Colonoscopy

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about health issues that affect the men in our lives, in honor of Father’s Day. Men are notorious for avoiding seeing the doctor, especially if the exam is going to be embarrassing or uncomfortable. That means they may not be getting the screenings they need to detect potentially deadly diseases.

Doctors recommend a colonoscopy, in which a small camera is inserted into the rectum to allow doctors to search for potentially cancerous polyps, as one of the best ways to detect colon cancer. It’s not a pleasant process, but there’s an alternative that’s almost as accurate. Dr. Cecelia Brewington, a radiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says 3-D virtual colonoscopy is less uncomfortable, takes less time and doesn’t require sedation. It uses a CT scan and virtual reality software to provide detailed images of the inside of the colon. It’s about 90 percent accurate, although it’s not recommended for patients who’ve already had polyps or colon cancer.


June 2011

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