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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

New test offers hope for easier colon screening

Use of dye in scan skips the laxative, still shows polyps

A new method of performing virtual colonoscopy using a CT scan - which does not involve the dreaded laxative preparation to clear the colon the night before - may be about as effective as a standard colonoscopy at identifying the large polyps most likely to become cancerous, according to research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and elsewhere.

If larger studies confirm the finding, the technique could eventually serve as a first-line screening tool for colon cancer, especially for the many people who avoid screening altogether.

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