COLONOSCOPY OVERVIEW: A colonoscopy examines inside the colon and rectum using a long, lighted tube named a colonoscope in order to see if any polyps are present. Perforation of the large intestine or bleeding is a risk of the procedure, but a small one. While the idea of a colonoscopy can be uncomfortable and even frightening for many people, it is usually a very straightforward procedure. It is also necessary because colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. Treatment is most effective in the early stages and often polyps found by a colonoscopy can be removed before they turn into cancer. The older a person is, the higher their risk of colon cancer is too so everyone over the age of 50 should get a colonoscopy. (Source: www.ccalliance.org)
“THIRD EYE” CAMERA: The “third eye” is an improvement on traditional colonoscopy cameras because it’s other tip comes through the catheter revealing a backward facing camera with an LED light, whereas the previous colonoscopy camera had only a forward facing camera. A recent study revealed that the new “third eye” camera detects 41% more pre-cancerous polyps for people who are at a high risk of colon cancer and 23% more in people who are at not at risk.
EXACT SCIENCES TEST: If approved by the FDA, the Exact Sciences test will be a new, non-invasive, in-home stool-based DNA (sDNA) screening test for the early detection of colorectal cancer. Results of two studies suggest that the test is highly accurate and significantly more sensitive than other non-invasive tests at detecting pre-cancerous tumors and early stage cancer. The test was developed by Exact Sciences and the Mayo Clinic. The Exact Sciences test detects altered DNA from pre-cancerous or cancerous polyps anywhere in the colon. All colon cancers start as polyps, and as polyps develop, they shed cells into the stool that contain altered DNA associated with both colorectal pre-cancer and cancer. If a patient’s results are abnormal, a colonoscopy is required to confirm the results. (Source: Exact Sciences)