How do you prevent colorectal cancer? Get screened

If you’re 45, it’s time to get your first colonoscopy.

The new recommended age to start colorectal cancer screening for people with average risk of the disease has been lowered from 50 to 45 because colorectal cancer cases are increasing among young and middle-aged people.

Colorectal cancer screening is one of the few screenings that can prevent cancer by detecting and removing precancerous polyps before they become malignant.
The American Cancer Society recommends conventional colorectal cancer screening for average-risk people every 10 years after an initial screening, with the option for virtual colonoscopy every five years.

Virtual colonoscopy is a safe non-invasive alternative to conventional colorectal cancer screening that uses a CT scanner to produce detailed 3D images of the inside of the colon and rectum. The screening is highly effective for the early detection of polyps that can develop into cancer. One of our board-certified radiologists specially trained in virtual colonoscopy reviews the images to identify the presence of polyps.

Benefits of virtual colonoscopy

  • It is extremely safe, much safer than conventional colonoscopy.
  • No anesthesia is required. You can resume regular activities, including returning to work, immediately after the procedure.
  • It is highly accurate for the detection of precancerous polyps.
  • It may be able to show areas of the colon that conventional colonoscopy can’t reach if part of the intestine is narrowed or blocked.

Our radiologists were among the first in the Washington, D.C., area to offer virtual colonoscopy and have taught the procedure to radiologists from across the globe. Washington Radiology remains at the cutting edge of this modern procedure.

Ask your health care provider if virtual colonoscopy can be part of your regular wellness screenings. A physician order is needed to schedule a virtual colonoscopy. To schedule your appointment, please call 703-280-9800 and have your physician order ready.

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