Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) commends the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for endorsing computed tomography (CT) colonography as an effective colorectal cancer screening option for the Medicare population. USPSTF assigned an “A” grade in its final recommendations for colorectal cancer screening, issued yesterday.
“Overwhelming evidence has shown that CT colonography is a more patient-friendly alternative to traditional optical colonoscopy, and we are pleased that USPSTF has acknowledged this body of science in its final recommendations for colorectal cancer screening,” said Patrick Hope, Executive Director of MITA. “USPSTF’s final recommendation represents a major step forward in addressing the persistently high incidence of and deaths from colorectal cancer. We hope this will encourage the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide national coverage of CT colonography, granting more beneficiaries access to early detection and life-saving treatment and saving millions of lives.”
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, despite having a 90 percent cure rate when detected early. CT colonography uses low-dose X-rays to produce three-dimensional images of the colon. Compared to the traditional optical exam, CT colonography is less invasive and does not require sedation.
A recent analysis published in Abdominal Imaging confirmed that CT colonography is a cost-effective colorectal cancer screening option for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, while several prior national studies, including research led by Dr. Brooks Cash of National Naval Medical Center/Walter Reed Army Medical Center, have reinforced its value for detecting colorectal cancer in this population. In addition, a 2012 American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) paper published in Radiology found CT colonography to be comparable to optical colonography for Americans ages 65 years and older.
The American Cancer Society, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force and the American College of Radiology have all endorsed CT colonography as a recommended test for colorectal cancer screening.