Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) and Ralph M. Hall (R-TX) introduced H.R. 4165 today, the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, calling on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend Medicare coverage to virtual colonoscopy, a minimally invasive colorectal exam using low-dose computed tomography (CT).
"March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to ensure access to proven screening tools that can help prevent this deadly disease," said Congressman Davis.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if everyone age 50 or older were screened regularly. Today less than half of all Americans age 50 and over, those at the highest risk, undergo colorectal cancer screening.
Virtual colonoscopy has been recognized by professional societies such as the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and the United States Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer as a recommended screening procedure for colon cancer. Additionally, these groups have published guidelines, developed with significant peer-reviewed clinical data, for CTC screening for colorectal cancer.