Colonoscopy is an excellent means of reducing your risk of colon cancer. Colonoscopy is a procedure that involves the evaluation of the inside of your colon (large intestine or large bowel). The colonoscope is a four foot long, flexible tube about the thickness of a finger with a camera and a source of light at its tip. The tip of the colonoscope is inserted into the anus and then is advanced slowly, under visual control, into the rectum and through the colon usually as far as the cecum, which is the first part of the colon. If you are at average risk for colon cancer, screening typically begins at 50 (unfortunately, that means this year for this blogger).
What’s new? Although not quite ready for wide use, a new 330 degree colonoscope appears to significantly improve our ability to detect colon cancer. The newer FUSE colonoscopy allows for a 330-degree viewing angle (instead of only 170-degrees with the regular colonoscope).
My take: While it is a very good screening test, we know we can miss early pre-cancerous abnormalities with traditional colonoscopy. A better colonoscope has arrived, and may be available in late 2013 worldwide. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.
The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.
Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad: Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.