Earlier this year, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) was under fire for its controversial mammography screening recommendations. Now the USPSTF  has given an ambiguous recommendation for computed tomographic colonography (CTC), otherwise known as virtual colonoscopy.

The Washington D.C. based CTC Coalition, made up of physician providers, colon cancer patient advocates and imaging technology developers, is asking the USPSTF to reconsider its recent “I” statement for CTC.

The “I” statement is the USPSTF’s indication that more research is needed in order to make a conclusive recommendation, but advocates say that there is already plenty of evidence in favor of CTC.

The coalition points out that CTC has a 90 % cure rate when cancer is detected early. As a result, the coalition is asking that USPSTF to review existing data on CTC that proves that it offers patients a less expensive, minimally invasive option that increases screening rates and effectively detects cancers early.

They also note that the President chose virtual colonoscopy screening instead of traditional endoscopy.

Brooks Cash, MD, integrated chief of medicine and staff gastroenterologist at the National Naval Medical Center/Walter Reed Army Medical Center, added that when given the option, 40 % of patients chose to undergo CTC. Additionally, 37% of patients who underwent colon cancer screening said they would not have been screened without CTC.

A letter was submitted by the CTC Coalition in response to the USPSTF “I” statement. You can read the letter online at www.medicalimaging.org.

(Source: Press Release)