Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and the third most common cancer in the United States. It is one of the most preventable types of cancer, yet there is a 1 in 20 chance of getting it. Technological advances as described here, will likely decrease this risk over the next 10 years.
Cutting edge endoscopy equipment is helping physicians like myself find more polyps than ever before during colonoscopy. At Hanover Gastroenterology - NHRMC Physician Group, we are the only center in the area offering the FUSE system, which essentially doubles the amount of colon anatomy we see during an exam. This innovative technology improves the accuracy of the test and can significantly reduce the chance of missing a pre-cancerous lesion.
During a routine colonoscopy, a physician inserts a thin flexible tube into the GI tract. A camera attached to the tube sends images that we carefully view for pre-cancerous polyps and remove if present.
In place of a single camera looking forward, the FUSE system features three cameras, which allow the physician to look at three images simultaneously. Instead of a 170-degree “forward only” view, we see a 330-degree “panoramic” view of the colon. The new angles allow us to look sideways and backward at areas that may have not been seen with standard, single camera colonoscopies.
A recent study in The Lancet Oncology revealed that the FUSE system found 69 percent more polyps than standard colonoscopies.
During my training at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, I used my background in mechanical engineering for device development in gastroenterology. When evaluating new colonoscopes for our group, it was an obvious choice to adopt this new, unique technology.
We agree with many GI experts that this is truly a revolution in colonoscopy and is defining a new “standard” in colon cancer prevention. It dramatically improves the effectiveness of this life-saving procedure.
If a patient at average risk for colon cancer has a negative colonoscopy, a repeat exam is typically not performed for 10 years. With the FUSE technology, it helps give us confidence that a complete, thorough inspection of the colon has been performed.
The American Cancer Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend screening starting at age 50 for all men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer. For patients with a family history, exams are typically performed starting at age 40.
The cost of a FUSE colonoscopy is the same as that of a standard colonoscopy and screening exams are typically covered by insurance and Medicare.
Schedule your appointment
To learn more about FUSE technology or to schedule your appointment, please call Hanover Gastroenterology-NHRMC Physician Group at 910.763.1219.