In the UK alone, someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. Unfortunately, for many, this diagnosis comes when the patient is symptomatic, the disease is well established, and possibly already spreading to multiple sites in the body. Treatments are usually less effective the later cancer is detected, meaning survival rates also tend to be lower in those diagnosed with late-stage cancers.
Now, thanks to this cutting-edge technology, wherein uses a high-tech camera that clips onto the loo could speed up the detection of bowel cancer.
Resembling a toilet freshener, the device uses cutting-edge imaging techniques to scan stools in the bowl for traces of blood — a sign of the disease.
Findings are transmitted to an app on the user’s smartphone, which uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to provide results within minutes that can automatically be shared with a doctor.
More details of this story from AWM:
Not only can the results be shared directly with the patient’s doctor, but the smartphone-connected camera can also help determine if a colonoscopy or other procedure is necessary. The initial tests of the toilet camera indicate that it is ninety percent effective at locating blood in stools. This means that it can save the lives of people who might be at high risk of developing bowel or colon cancer.
If a patient does have bowel cancer, it is likely that their stools will include blood. When a tumor develops inside of the colon or bowels, it can damage blood vessels, which then push blood into the stool.
Bowel cancer, when caught early, can be treated. The earlier someone catches the disease, the more likely they are to beat it. For example, only about ten percent of people who have their colon cancer caught at stage one pass away after five years. If the cancer is caught at stage four, when it has already spread, only about 10 percent of people are expected to survive after five years.
The maker of the device, called OutSense, says it detects nine out of ten cases where blood is present in a stool sample, although these results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It hopes to seek approval for the device in the UK in the next two years.
David Crosby, head of prevention and early detection research at Cancer Research UK, says: “This device is an interesting piece of technology, which could allow people to spot early changes to their bowel health, prior to the onset of symptoms. But it is at an early stage of development and we need peer-reviewed evidence to show that it works.”