Researchers in Boston are using a sophisticated new tool to figure out why up to half of colon cancer cases are missed, even when using colonoscopies that have significantly blunted the threat from this deadly disease.
A research team at Massachusetts General Hospital is collaborating with the Harvard Medical School to use computers to model what happens during a typical colonoscopy,and why cancers occurring on the colon’s right side are frequently missed, a article posted on the American Cancer Society's website said.
In the article, lead researcher Amy Knudsen said her model can create a variety of scenarios related to colon cancer, including partial removal of polyps and missed diagnoses. Kudsen’s hypothesis is that pre-cancerous polyps in the right half of the colon differ from their left-located counterparts and are thus difficult to find and eliminate.
“Ultimately, we hope that the results from our study will guide the development of new screening tests for colorectal cancer, highlight important areas of focus for quality-improvement efforts in colonoscopy, and inform future screening recommendations,” Kudsen said in the posting.