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Imaging diagnostic methods for colorectal cancer in contemporary medicine. Types and prevention
Bistra Ivanova Velchovska, Zhenya Nikolaeva Zhekova-Maradzhieva, Atanas Nikolaev Uzunov, Evgeniya Leninova Ivanova, Desislava Metodieva Petrova, Mariana Zhivkova Yordanova, Georgi Nikolaev Valchev

Last modified: 2016-11-08



Colon cancer (colorectal carcinoma) is a malignant tumor, stemming from the wall of the colon. It’s the second most common carcinoma in men (after pulmonary and before stomach cancers) and the third most common in women (after breast and uteral carcinomas). Its frequency has been increasing steadily in the last years. It most often affects people past 50 years of age, but about 20% of cases occur before that margin. Histologically 80% of cases are of adenocarcinoma, about 20% - mucinous. Carcinomas generally develop on the basis of adenomas.

Screening methods applied with success are as follows: rectoromanyscopy, fibrocolonoscopy, irigography, computed tomographic colonography, magnetic resonance tomography. The two most frequently used are irigography with a barium enema and fibrocolonoscopy.  The former allows for a thorough radiological topographical analysis of the whole color, while the latter allows for direct mucosal visualization and biopsy (both cytological and histological) without radiation by means of a flexible metallic tube inserted retrogradely. Fibrocolonoscopy enables minor minimally invasive surgery such as polyp and small tumor removal. Rectoromanoscopy is a dated method, solely with historical significance. The latest imaging diagnostic methods are the tomographic ones – computed tomography, computed tomography virtual colonoscopy, and magnetic resonance tomography. They are highly informative for all diseases of the colon, contribute considerably to tumor staging, and to preoperative assessment. 

Screening programs, timely consultations with specialists and the increasing availability of imaging diagnostic equipment lead to a marked tendency of decreasing colorectal carcinoma mortality in Bulgaria.