Can abdominal CT with IV contrast show colorectal cancer?

Sometime. Unfortunately the exam you mention only discloses larger tumors. A "Vitrual colonoscopy" is a more sensitive test. It involves a preparation of the bowel . The "gold standard" is, of course a colonoscopy by a Gastroenterologist, you are too young to require this on a "routine basis" Do you have symptoms???? Hope this helps Dr Z.
To a certain extent. It can demonstrate tumors that are on the larger size, like multiple centimeters large and also if there are concerning lesions spread in the abdomen or to the liver. But if you have a localized polyp(small outgrowth in the colon), less than 1cm, that is cancerous, this could readily be missed. These polyps can be better visualized with a specialized form of scanning known as CT colonography.
Not the best choice. It can detect advanced stage cancer but it is not ideal. A colonoscopy would be a much better choice. .

Related Questions

Colorectal cancer surgery and colostomy? Why does the doctor have to do a colostomy as part of colorectal cancer surgery? What is it exactly (a hole in my abdomen?) and how long will I have it?

Some . Some ostomies are for ever and other temporary. For low rectal cancer a temporary may be use to proted the new conection alowed to be healthy.If the cancer is to low involving the muscle to control the stool a penmanented ostomy is need. Yes a stoma is a open in you abdomen that alowwed a small portion of teh bowel to come out and it is cover by a ostomy bag. Read more...
Not . Not all colorectal cancer surgeries requires a colostomy. A colostomy is more often needed during an emergency operation (when there is no time to clean the bowel properly before the operation), like perforation or obstruction of the bowel caused by the tumor, that can create contamination and infections inside the abdomen. In those conditions putting the bowel together could be very risky and lead to failure of the operation, and doing a colostomy would help to control the contamination and prevent further infection. Commonly, after four to six weeks it is then safe to put the bowel together. On the other hand, if a colorectal cancer is detected in an early stage and no emergency situations are present, the bowel can be prepared properly and put together with less chances of having a complication. However, even in ideal conditions, some times the surgeon can find situations during the surgery which are concerning for possible complications (like poor blood supply to the bowel) and a temporary colostomy is performed to protect the bowel connection and let it heal safely without the passage of stool. Finally, some colostomies are permanent, depending on the location, the size, or the extension of the tumor to other organs. Read more...

If I had a clear abdominal & pelvic CT scan with contrast because of blood on stool, am I safe in thinking that it is not colorectal cancer?

Not Yet. Your age and family history play a role in believing there is increased risk or not, but, the final test to be certain would be a colonoscopy. Most colon cancers will start as polyps, a small growth on the wall. These are not well seen on ct scans and can only be ruled out completely with a colonoscopy. Read more...

What should I do if a colorectal cancer screening test shows an abnormality?

Follow-up. It is impossible to make a specific recommendation without knowing what test was performed and it's specific finding. Nevertheless, I am 100% certain that the physician that ordered/performed the screening test has a follow-up plan designed for you. In general, if an abnormality is found by x-ray or occult blood testing, a formal colonoscopy is recommended. Read more...
See oncologist. Don't waste time. In many ocassion it can be cured, even if metastised to liver. Let oncologist and surgeon help, you'll be amazed in many ocassions. Let the expert tell you, and help. Read more...