Beating bowel cancer together

Camera the size of a pill that could help detect bowel cancer is rolled out in Scotland

Monday 30 November 2020

A new procedure using tiny cameras inside a pill to help detect bowel cancer has been launched in Tayside, Scotland.

The ScotCap test will be rolled out across health boards in Scotland as an alternative to a traditional colonoscopy – a camera on a thin, flexible cable inserted through a person’s bottom to look at different parts of the bowel. The cameras take pictures of the lining of the bowel to look for any problems or signs of disease.

The programme, which is backed by the Scottish government, has been accelerated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It's hoped it will help health boards tackle a backlog of patients and reduce waiting times.

Dr Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, says: "This programme has the potential to make a huge difference for people with bowel cancer symptoms who are waiting for a colonoscopy. It can be used to rule out bowel cancer, reducing the increasing pressure on colonoscopy services.

"More than 10,000 people in Scotland are waiting for a colonoscopy, and therefore the ScotCap test could play a vital role in alleviating some of this pressure and enable the NHS to prioritise those who urgently need further tests. Bowel cancer is Scotland's second biggest cancer killer, but it doesn't have to be if patients are diagnosed early and they are able to start treatment quickly."

If you're concerned about possible bowel cancer symptoms, including bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and a pain or lump in your tummy, please contact your GP.


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