Colorectal cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death. However, the majority of colon cancer deaths could be prevented by appropriate screening. The current gold standard for colon cancer screening is colonoscopy. Precancerous polyps found at colonoscopy can be removed before they become cancerous. Many countries recommend that everyone should have their first colonoscopy by the age of 50. However, if you have a higher risk of bowel cancer due to a family history or certain types of bowel disease, a younger age may be appropriate.
Here at TMSC, we understand that colonoscopies can generate a lot of anxiety. Because of this we offer painless colonoscopies which are done under sedation. If a polyp needs to be removed (polypectomy), this is also done while you are asleep.
We use the latest, state-of-the-art, Olympus EVIS LUCERA ELITE endoscopy system. We also utilize a high-tech insertion technique called Singular Water Immersion Method (SWIM) which is far less invasive than most conventional techniques. Aside from being more patient-friendly, this water-aided technique is also believed to be better at finding adenomas (pre-cancerous polyps) than most conventional methods. During colonoscopy we use carbon dioxide to inflate the bowel, which is absorbed and released by the body 200 times faster than room air. This reduces the uncomfortable bloating which is common after most conventional colonoscopies.
Further options available to patients include the administration of laxative directly into the stomach/duodenum (the RELAX Method) prior to colonoscopy. This avoids the need to drink a large volume of unpleasant-tasting laxative and dramatically reduces time spent in the restroom.
Recently, we have also started “Synbiotics Therapy” for people receiving colonoscopy. Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, which work together synergistically in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus far, numerous studies have shown that synbiotics therapy boosts anti-viral and bacterial defense and suppresses excessive inflammatory reactions. At the time of colonoscopy, synbiotics medication is sprayed directly into the small or large intestine. In this way, the “good bacteria” can’t be damaged by gastric acid or bile juice as occurs with dietary probiotics such as yoghurt, or supplements taken by mouth. Synbiotics is an optional additional treatment. Therefore if interested, please ask at the time of the procedure.
Our colonoscopy procedure has been developed with a focus on accurate screening as well as ensuring the comfort of our patients throughout the examination. Additionally, our gastroenterologist (Dr Horiuchi) and all of our nurses are fluent English speakers.
Colorectal cancer screening does save lives. If you are 50 years or older (or younger with risk factors), please discuss with your regular doctor, or make an appointment directly with Dr Horiuchi.