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Doctor insights on: What Does Colon Cancer Look Like On Ct Scan

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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified, General Surgery
26 years in practice
2M people helped
1

1
My CT scan said my bowel is unremarkable. Could something be wrong with my colon? Like colon cancer? Even if my CT said my bowel is normal.

Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified, General Surgery
26 years in practice
2M people helped
My CT scan said my bowel is unremarkable. Could something be wrong with my colon? Like colon cancer? Even if my CT said my bowel is normal.

Unlikely: Given your age it is unlikely. Depending on your symptoms, it could be possible that you may need further evaluation. CT scan are not perfect. What are you worried about? Are you having problems? Why did you have a CT anyway? ...Read more

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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,071 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that occur in almost any organ or tissue in the body. Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer, and cancer often has the potential to grow and spread to other ...Read more


Dr. Allen Kamrava
Board Certified, Colon and Rectal Surgery
10 years in practice
890K people helped
2

2
Why can't a CT scan see colon cancer well? How large would it need to be to be seen?

Dr. Allen Kamrava
Board Certified, Colon and Rectal Surgery
10 years in practice
890K people helped
Why can't a CT scan see colon cancer well? How large would it need to be to be seen?

Not Designed for it: Not what a ct scan is designed to do. Usually colon cancer will not be clearly evident on ct until it is at stage iii or stage IV level, since it has to anatomically change the colon to be evident on ct. To get that level of change, it needs to be at minimum a locally advanced tumor. Every once in a while it may be evident at the stage ii point, but very low sensitivity. ...Read more

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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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Dr. Enrique Molina
Board Certified, Gastroenterology
30 years in practice
494K people helped
3

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Can colon cancer be detected on a CT scan?

Dr. Enrique Molina
Board Certified, Gastroenterology
30 years in practice
494K people helped
Can colon cancer be detected on a CT scan?

Yes: however usually advanced colon cancers are the ones that can be picked up. Virtual CT colonography is an improved image, however the best way to definitely diagnose colon cancer is with a regular colonoscopy. let me know if you have further questions ...Read more

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Dr. Mary Maluccio
Board Certified, Surgical Oncology
22 years in practice
307K people helped
4

4
Can a CT scan see stage 2 colon cancer?

Dr. Mary Maluccio
Board Certified, Surgical Oncology
22 years in practice
307K people helped
Can a CT scan see stage 2 colon cancer?

Depends: Stage ii colon cancer is early stage, limited to the lining of the colon. If your question refers to the use of sophisticated ct imaging (virtual colonoscopy). The answer is yes as it has been used to pick up polyps. In colon cancer patients, ct is used to look at whether there is measureable disease outside the colon in the lymph nodes and/or liver. ...Read more

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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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Dr. George T Tsai
Board Certified, General Surgery
22 years in practice
861K people helped
5

5
Can I be screened for colon cancer with a CT scan instead of a colonoscopy?

Dr. George T Tsai
Board Certified, General Surgery
22 years in practice
861K people helped
Can I be screened for colon cancer with a CT scan instead of a colonoscopy?

Sometimes: Ct colography is never meant to replace a colonoscopy. At high volumn centers, the detection sensitivity of ct exam is indeed comparable to colonoscopy but you need to know the rate of detection of your imaging facility. Bowel prep is required for both procedures - no way around the unpleasant process. Beware that there is significant radiation exposure with the exam. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Murray
Board Certified, General Surgery
28 years in practice
280K people helped
6

6
How reliable is a ab CT scan for colon cancer? Had 3, what percentage of cancers are missed in a CT scan? Trying to find stats.

Dr. Michael Murray
Board Certified, General Surgery
28 years in practice
280K people helped
How reliable is a ab CT scan for colon cancer? Had 3, what percentage of cancers are missed in a CT scan? Trying to find stats.

Colon cancer: A ct scan is not the diagnostic modality of choice to find colon cancer. It may find late cancers that are causing symptoms but if you want to find colon cancer or precancerous polyps you need a colonoscopy. ...Read more

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Dr. Addagada Rao
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
25M people helped
7

7
How often should I have CT scan after colon cancer surgery for the first year?

Dr. Addagada Rao
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
25M people helped
How often should I have CT scan after colon cancer surgery for the first year?

Depends on stage: Depends on need for it , by clinical examination, blood tests , cea levels, to detect metastasis pet scan is a much better tool. ...Read more

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Dr. Herman Hammerstead
Board Certified, Trauma Surgery
45 years in practice
1M people helped
8

8
Can Diveticulosis (not itis) be mistaken for colon cancer on CT scan? Had sigmoidoscopy to 35 CM and 4 CT scans over past three years.

Dr. Herman Hammerstead
Board Certified, Trauma Surgery
45 years in practice
1M people helped
Can Diveticulosis (not itis) be mistaken for colon cancer on CT scan?  Had sigmoidoscopy to 35 CM and 4 CT scans over past three years.

NO: Both CA and tics have different morphology. That said, it doesn't mean a small cancer can go undetected in an area of tics. Colonoscopy is the gold standard. Why so many CTs ??? ...Read more

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Dr. Tracy Berg
Board Certified, General Surgery
27 years in practice
9M people helped
9

9
Would advanced colon cancer show up on a CT scan of my abdomen ? Reg CT scan not virtual colonoscopy.

Dr. Tracy Berg
Board Certified, General Surgery
27 years in practice
9M people helped

Imaging/biopsy: The imaging modality of ct scan could show findings that would be concerning for cancer, mass around your colon, enlarged lymph nodes in the same area. However, the diagnosis is made at biopsy, a piece of the mass under the microscope of a pathologist. Often the ct scan leads to the biopsy. Good luck, it is important to get the evaluation completed. ...Read more

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Dr. Chad Levitt
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
17 years in practice
1M people helped
10

10
Ct scan showed spot on liver, have colon cancer but ultrasound came back negative does it mean it was wrong?

Dr. Chad Levitt
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
17 years in practice
1M people helped
Ct scan showed  spot on liver, have colon cancer but ultrasound came back negative does it mean it was wrong?

Pet or MRI may help: Other imaging modalities may help further clarify if this finding in ct is suspicious for malignancy or more likely benign if the ct and ultrasound have not been more specific. If u have older ct scans to compare and this is indeed new, then further clarification is needed. This all has to be taken into context of the bigger clinical picture including cea as well as the rest of your body. ...Read more

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Dr. Tiffanie Noonan
1 doctor shared a insight

Computed Tomography (Definition)

Computed tomography is also ...Read more


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Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified,
23 years in practice
66M people helped
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