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North Yorkshire patients among the first to trial revolutionary colon cancer test
People who are referred by their GP to York and Scarborough hospitals with possible bowel cancer may now be offered a revolutionary new test at which could provide a diagnosis within hours.
The hospital is one of 50 NHS sites to trial miniature cameras which patients can swallow to get checked for cancer. The imaging technology, known as a colon capsule endoscopy, is concealed in a capsule no bigger than a pill and can help patients access cancer checks at home.
Traditional endoscopies mean patients need to attend hospital and have a tube inserted whereas the new technology means that people can go about their normal day.
Dr James Turvill, Consultant Gastroenterologist at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The colon capsule endoscopy has been a particularly important breakthrough in bowel cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic. Existing colonoscopy and CT scan services have been significantly affected and this new technology helps in providing additional capacity to support the early diagnosis of cancer.
“We believe colon capsule endoscopy has a great deal of potential and the Trust is both very excited and privileged to be leading its national evaluation. The current evidence suggests that it is a very accurate diagnostic test. It still requires the patient to prepare for the test in advance in the same way as a traditional bowel endoscopy (colonoscopy) so that high quality images of the bowel can be captured, but it spares the potential discomfort, risks and embarrassment of colonoscopy.”
The national evaluation of colon capsule endoscopy, which is set to involve many thousands of patients, will be delivered and co-ordinated by Dr James Turvill and the Research and Development Team at York Hospital.
15 March 2021