Norfolk to test pill-sized camera that is swallowed to detect cancer
- Credit: JPUH
Patients in Norfolk can swallow a pill-sized capsule containing two tiny cameras to detect signs of bowel cancer and reduce waiting times.
Once ingested the cameras take high quality pictures that are beamed back to medics in hospital, while the patient continues with their normal routine at home.
It is being offered to those with urgent symptoms, instead of having a camera tube inserted in the body.
Detecting cancer is a priority post-Covid according to Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital which is among 42 trusts taking part in the trial to test the futuristic tech.
The service began at the hospital at the end of last month.
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Because the imaging technology, known as a Colon Capsule Endoscopy (CCE), is non-invasive people are not required to isolate before they swallow it, or to take a Covid test.
Dr Rawya Badreldin, consultant gastroenterolgist and endoscopy clinical lead at the James Paget, said cancer diagnosis and treatment was a priority coming out of the pandemic.
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Dr Kamal Aryal, consultant colorectal surgeon and clinical lead for trial, said another benefit was that patients could continue with their usual medications, such as blood thinning tablets, while preparing for the test.
He said the JPUH was the first location to start the service in Norfolk and Waveney, adding: "This innovative technique will help us to move forward in providing latest diagnostic services for our patients in our community.”
Mr Roshan Lal, clinical lead for surgery, praised the teamwork of everyone involved.
He said: “The addition of this service will provide an alternative test, reduce the waiting times for urgent bowel cancer referrals, and will go a long way in improving the service we provide to our local community.”
Among the first patients to join the trial were Patricia Nichols from Caister, and Lisa Hobbs from Lowestoft.