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A 48-year-old female asked:

Can a ct scan of the abdomen/pelvis without contrast detect colon cancer and ulcers?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Zadeh
General Surgery 18 years experience
CT Scan Findings: Ct scan is not the best study to detect colon cancer or ulcers. Although a ct scan may show a large sized colon cancer, the sensitivity of this is greatly reduced without the administration of oral contrast. Ulcers are typically not seen on ct scan. The best diagnostic study for both of these would be an endoscopy and colonoscopy.
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
No: Contrast is needed to outline these abnormalities. Barium or contast enema very good for demionstarting colon cancer, however colonoscopy is best. Ct scan will also demonstrate cancer spread to the liver and enlarged abdominal lymph nodes.

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