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A. Virtual Colonoscopy Not Ready for Widespread Use

Narrator: This is Science Today. New research has found that virtual colonoscopy a less invasive screening test for colon cancer is not yet ready for widespread use. Dr. Uri Ladabaum led the University of California, San Francisco study.

Ladabaum: Even when the sensitivity and specificity of the virtual colonoscopy test was comparable to that of the colonoscopy, the clinical outcomes of screening with colonoscopy were slightly better, although comparable. Yet for the two strategies to be economically comparable, the cost of the virtual colonoscopy would have to be about two thirds of the test costs for colonoscopy. The charges for it tend to be comparable and in some cases, higher.

Narrator: Ladabaum says since virtual colonoscopy may be best suited for patients who are at low risk of having polyps or cancer, high-risk patients should stick to colonoscopy.

Ladabaum: Somebody who has a high chance of eventually needing a conventional colonoscopy anyway, should probably start out with a conventional colonoscopy from the start.

Narrator: For Science Today, Im Larissa Branin.