Putting off having a colonoscopy? "Nicer" alternatives are being developed.
While certainly not our favorite screening procedure, colonoscopy remains the best method of detecting colorectal cancer early. A surprising number of people simply refuse this important screening test. Technology may be coming to their rescue (and ours also). Capsule endoscopy involves swallowing a large capsule with a camera at each end and the electronics to image the entire colon. Patients must prepare carefully before swallowing, then swallow the capsule which goes into "sleep mode" for the transit time to the colon, "wakes up" and for 10 hours images your colon! Is it a viable option yet? The most recent study demonstrated it was adequate in 93% of patients when compared to the standard method, but more development is needed.
PositiveTip: Don't wait for this technology to be refined if your health care provider recommends a colonoscopy. Get it done now. It could save your life!