This health video focuses on how colonoscopy can help people who are suffering from more that just colon cancer.
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Jennifer Matthews: Sculptor Stephen Hollingsworth thought he was the picture of health. That was, until he went in for a routine colonoscopy. Stephen Hollingsworth: They called me a few days later and they said, your colon's fine, but we found this lump on your kidney. Jennifer Matthews: Stephen had a virtual colonoscopy. It's a CT scan that looks inside the entire torso. Judy Yee: We are sitting inside the colon and looking around at the wall of the colon from the inside. Jennifer Matthews: But the scan also allows doctors to see more. Computer software enables them to zoom in on 3D images and examine anything suspicious. In Stephen's case, Doctor Judy Yee saw something disturbing. Judy Yee: What we found was a mass on his left kidney that did not look benign. Jennifer Matthews: In a recent study, 500 patients were given a virtual colonoscopy. 45 of them were diagnosed with serious diseases outside the colon -- problems like kidney cancer, lung lesions and even aneurysms. Doctors say it's not just what the test found, but when. Judy Yee: When we do find something significant outside of the colon, often it's at an earlier stage. Jennifer Matthews: That was the case for Stephen. Usually, patients with kidney cancer don't have symptoms until it's too late. But the virtual colonoscopy found his before it spread. Stephen Hollingsworth: I feel lucky. If I hadn't had this thing, it would have progressed and probably would have killed me. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Stephen's looking forward to many happy and healthy years. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.