New Colon Cancer Screenings Hold Promise

Up-and-coming colon cancer screening methods outlined recently in the Wall Street Journal – including a pill containing a camera, a scope that gives nearly panoramic views and genetic testing – will be helpful for patients in the future, a hepatologist says. Swallowing a pill will easier on a patient than a colonoscopy because it does not require sedation, says David Bernstein, MD, chief of hepatology for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. But, he adds, if this camera finds a polyp, a traditional colonoscopy will follow. And the scope that provides nearly complete views will allow physicians to see more of the sides of the colon rather than just the forward-facing view, Dr. Bernstein says. But these new opportunities, which are not readily available, should not deter patients from continuing to get their traditional colonoscopy because they want to hold out for better technology.

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