Although there may be more than one link between osteoporosis and colon cancer, the newest association is that CT Colonography can screen for both diseases at the same time. From the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2008 conference a study presented by lead author Rizwan Aslam, M.B.Ch.B., assistant clinical professor of radiology at the University of California San Francisco, describes how a data set obtained for CT Colonography can be analyzed (by a different software reconstruction program) to evaluate bone density of the spine. And it turns out the results are very comparable to dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scores.
From the press release:
In the study conducted at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital, the researchers evaluated the results of 35 patients who underwent CT colonography and bone mineral density testing with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), a standard bone density screening tool. Patients included 30 males and five females ranging in age from 54 to 79.
The results of the study showed excellent agreement between the DEXA bone mineral density scores and the data generated through the CT colonography study. “The bone density measurements obtained from CT colonography were comparable to the DEXA results,” Dr. Aslam said. “Both tests identified osteoporotic bones.”
Most physicians recommend that adults undergo CT colonography or conventional colonoscopy every seven to 10 years beginning at age 50. “CT colonography isn’t a replacement for DEXA testing, but it could be a way to screen more people for osteoporosis,” Dr. Aslam said. “When an individual undergoes CT colonography, we can also obtain a bone density measurement with no additional radiation and at minimal cost.”
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 10 million Americans over age 50 have osteoporosis. Approximately 34 million Americans are at risk due to low bone mass. Detecting osteoporosis early provides for early intervention and treatment.
RSNA press release: CT Colonography Offers One-Stop Screening for Cancer and Osteoporosis (From All press releases RSNA 2008) (Page 3)