Prevention is always better than cure
We know that “Prevention is always better than cure”. We understand that time is of the essence; a hectic schedule and professional commitments might put your health in the back seat. However, regular screening can help us to identify chronic diseases or health conditions at early stages, allowing timely intervention and treatment, significantly improving outcomes and increasing the chances of successful recovery.
In addition, Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer worldwide. Fortunately, it is also highly preventable through the utilisation of screening methods.
In the case of early-stage colorectal cancer, symptoms are typically absent. However, once again, screening through endoscopy plays a pivotal role in the early detection of colorectal cancer. Early-stage colorectal cancer boasts a 5-year survival rate ranging from 80% to 90%, emphasising the importance of early detection.
Gastroscopy is an endoscopic examination that uses a flexible camera to visually examine the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It allows for biopsies and polyp removal using a small forceps or snare inserted through the scope.
If you are facing symptoms such as persistent feelings of nausea, recurrent vomiting, or a combination of both, a gastroscopy might help to find out the cause.
A gastroscopy involves the insertion of a gastroscope through the mouth into the throat and down to the stomach. The patient is given sedation to keep them asleep and unaware of the procedure. During the examination, the stomach is carefully examined for any abnormalities using advanced imaging techniques. This is particularly important for screening for early gastric cancer, which may only show subtle changes in the gastric lining. Biopsies may be taken during the procedure to investigate any suspicious features, and a rapid test for H. pylori is also conducted. The biopsy procedure is painless and does not cause discomfort to the patient. The patient will be sedated for the procedure. Additionally, a local anaesthetic spray is applied to the back of the throat to numb the area and further alleviate any discomfort.
Gastroscopy is a generally safe procedure with rare occurrences of severe complications such as perforation in the stomach or bowel. The likelihood of perforation during a gastroscopy is 0.005% (five cases per 100,000 procedures). The range of bleeding incidents is estimated between 0.25-1.0%. The probability of excessive sedation is also very low and can be treated with medications to reverse its effects.
Colonoscopy is a medical procedure that involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached, known as a colonoscope, into the rectum to examine the colon and rectum for signs of disease or abnormalities. The procedure allows doctors to check for colon cancer, polyps, ulcers, inflammation, and other conditions that may be causing symptoms. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can also remove any suspicious polyps or tissue samples for further analysis. Colonoscopy is considered to be a crucial diagnostic tool for detecting colon cancer early and can also help prevent it by removing pre-cancerous growths.
A colonoscopy is recommended for adults aged 50 and above to screen for colon cancer, even if they have no symptoms or risk factors. However, individuals with a family history of colon cancer or other gastrointestinal issues may need to start screening earlier or more frequently. Additionally, if you experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, or unexplained weight loss, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of having a colonoscopy.
During a colonoscopy, the patient lies on their side while a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end, called a colonoscope, is inserted through the rectum and advanced through the colon. The camera transmits images of the colon to a monitor so that the doctor can examine it closely. The colonoscope can also remove small tissue samples or polyps, and it can be used to treat certain conditions. The procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour and is performed with sedation to minimise discomfort. After the colonoscopy, the patient is monitored until the sedative effects wear off and can resume normal activities the next day.
While colonoscopy is generally considered a safe procedure, there are some risks involved. These can include bleeding or perforation of the colon, which are rare but can require additional treatment or surgery. In very rare cases, complications from sedation or infection can also occur. Some people may experience discomfort or bloating after the procedure, but this is usually mild and resolves quickly.