BRA Launches New Colonoscopy Service

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Radiological Associates (BRA) announced today that it has launched a new and minimally invasive colorectal cancer screening service called virtual colonoscopy.


The screening uses CT (CAT) scanning to produce 2-D and 3-D computer images that the radiologists employ to find polyps, some of which may evolve into cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention, said that only half of all at-risk individuals are getting screened for colorectal cancer. Conventional colonoscopy uses a scope with a camera at the tip to search the lower intestine for signs of cancer. Hawk noted that the introduction of a convenient, fast, and less invasive screening tool would likely help increase the number of individuals who are actually screened. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that close to 70{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all participants “found virtual colonoscopy to be more acceptable in terms of overall convenience.”

BRA has been awarded the prestigious certification of Accreditation in CT Scanning as the result of a recent peer review survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR). It is the only practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to hold such accreditation.

BRA is operated by Drs. Robert Geehr, Jerome Auerbach and Stuart Masters, all residents of Pittsfield and each of whom have served as chairman of Radiology at local hospitals. Drs. Geehr and Masters were previously on the faculty at Yale University School of Medicine, Doctor Auerbach was on the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School. All three had long-term appointments to the faculty at University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“We worked hard to provide new health care opportunities for area residents. This accreditation is proof that we are heading in the right direction,” stated Geehr, a Yale University of Medicine graduate and a former Chairman of Radiology at Berkshire Medical Center.

“We designed each of our centers to have an incredible degree of high touch and high tech,” noted Masters, a Duke University of Medicine graduate and a former Chairman of Radiology at Berkshire Medical Center. “I think it is our dedication to finding the right match between state-of-the-art technology and patient comfort that makes us stand out.”

The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists with programs for focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

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