A pill that has a small camera inside that can detect tumors is expected to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.
The cancer detection camera – known as the capsule for bowel endoscopy – is swallowed by patients and takes pictures of the bowel to see if there are signs of disease as it passes through the digestive tract.
The device, which can deliver results in just five hours, is expected to initially be used on 11,000 patients in Britain as part of the testing process, writes the Daily Mail.
If the test is successful, it is hoped that the new form of diagnosis can bring an end to colonoscopies and the use of X-rays.
Genevieve Edwards, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said:
“This has the potential to make a huge difference for people with symptoms of colon cancer and can help health authorities prioritize those in urgent need of further testing.”
Colon cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK with 42,000 new cases being diagnosed each year and responsible for over 16,500 deaths per year.
Diagnosis of dangerous disease can often be delayed because many people refuse to undergo the uncomfortable procedure, which involves inserting a thin tube with a camera into the colon.