Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Scientists develop rear-view mirror to spot bowel cancer

Scientists have developed a new device that works like a ‘rear-view mirror’ for the surgeon during bowel examinations, helping to detect 25 per cent more abnormalities.

Bowel cancer is Britain’s third most common cancer, with 40,000 new diagnoses a year.
The disease also claims 16,000 lives a year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death.

The Third Eye Retroscope is used along with a standard colonoscope to improve detection

That’s because, although the disease is treatable if detected early, 90 per cent of patients are diagnosed once the cancer is advanced, often because they are too embarrassed to seek medical help.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, blood in the stools and unexpected weight loss.

To look for the early warning signs of bowel cancer, thousands of patients a year undergo a colonoscopy.

This 30-minute out-patient procedure, often carried out under sedation, involves a colonoscope — a thin, bendy tube with a video camera and light on the end of it — being inserted into the bowel.

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