CT colonography and colonoscopy are commonly performed for early detection of colon cancer in people over 50 years old. To prepare for a colon exam patients must typically clean their colon by drinking multiple liters of a special laxative solution the night before the procedure. Often it’s the task of drinking the laxative that makes patients anxious – so much that studies have shown the preparation is the main reason people avoid the screening.
In the new protocol, which began this summer at Mayo Clinic, patients skip the process of drinking the laxative and simply take four tablets of bisacodyl, a cleansing agent.
“Our hope is that this will make people less anxious and more likely to to get screened and will ultimately result in fewer deaths from colorectal cancer,” said C. Daniel Johnson, M.D., Chair of the Department of Radiology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
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