Two Alternatives for the Dreaded Colonoscopy

Two Alternatives for the Dreaded Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death for men and the third cause of death for women. Colonoscopies are designed for people over 50 to catch colorectal cancer early by detecting polyps growing on the wall of the large intestines. There are usually no symptoms in the early stages. If you dread hearing the word “colonoscopy” from your doctor, there are two alternatives worth considering and discussing with a Medical Doctor in Andover Kansas.

One alternative is testing for blood in the stool using a kit which can be mailed or delivered back to your doctor’s office. The instructions are provided on how to collect the stool sample and place it in the package. You should return it within 24 hours after collecting. If blood is found in the stool, the doctor will understandably order a colonoscopy.

However, now another alternative exists. According to Loyola University Health System, a new PillCam is now available, which is a capsule with two miniature cameras on each end. The patient, wearing a recorder on a belt, captures the images transmitted wirelessly by the swallowed capsule as it travels through the digestive tract.

Advantages

You do not need any anesthesia, and the procedure is painless. In addition, patients won’t have to take off from work or any regular activities, nor will you need a designated driver to drive you to and from the procedure.

Disadvantages

Patients still must drink the same nasty-tasting liquid in preparation for this procedure as you do for the standard colonoscopy; even though the capsule system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s only for a limited number of patients who either cannot have a colonoscopy because their colon shape makes it difficult for the colonoscope, a flexible tube with a camera on one end, to easily go through their whole colon or the patients are not able to have a colonoscopy because of increased risk due to complications from age, or other reasons.

Loyola is part of a clinical trial to establish whether the PillCam is safe for a larger population who could stomach a colonoscopy but would rather gulp down a pill. If you would like to discuss alternatives to a colonoscopy or any other health issues with a Medical Doctor in Andover Kansas, visit the website.

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