Endoscopic resection of early cancers effective

Endoscopic resection of early cancers effective
Highlights

Have you ever thought that had it been detected at earlier stage you could have saved your friend or family suffering from cancer? Frequently we come across with a situation that cancer is diagnosed suddenly and that too in advanced stage and no treatment works!

Have you ever thought that had it been detected at earlier stage you could have saved your friend or family suffering from cancer? Frequently we come across with a situation that cancer is diagnosed suddenly and that too in advanced stage and no treatment works!

"But medically and biologically it is not so. Cancers in the digestive system start in the body a few months to years before it is diagnosed clinically. But frequently they are diagnosed at a very advanced stage as most of us are afraid of meeting a doctor, afraid of investigations, or do not want to hear a word of cancer or frequently mistook it as some common gastric complaints like indigestion or dysentery. This year's theme of the day is 'Early diagnosis and treatment of GI cancer'

Think of a situation wherein cancer is diagnosed at the precancerous stage (before actual cancer happens) or at a very early stage and it is completely removed just by endoscopic methods without any external scar or wound.

The life and survival would be excellent. But how are cancer or precancerous lesions diagnosed at early stages? The answer: Latest and advanced high definition magnification and zoom endoscopy imaging and newer methods like chromoendoscopy and narrow band imaging.

To make it possible, we frequently recommend screening endoscopy, colonoscopy for patients who have chronic abdominal complaints, especially for those above 45 years of age. By doing so, we can screen a large population of patients with the aim to detect these lesions at a very stage.

Many of us are apprehensive of undergoing endoscopy and colonoscopy and want to prolong the medications even despite suffering. But with advanced technology in endoscopy, the ease and safety of endoscopy has improved to provide better patient experience, comfort and satisfaction of the procedure. After detection of these lesions, they can be completely removed and resected endoscopically without any external scar or wound.

Endoscopic resection of early cancers is safe and effective with faster patient recovery and excellent long-term outcomes/ survival. Every week we perform around 2-3 endoscopic resections safely and discharge these patients on the same day.

Also, since certain GI cancers have genetic background, we frequently encourage their family members also to get screening endoscopy and colonoscopy for early detection of these problems because prevention is better than cure. (Writer is Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist, Liver Specialist, Interventional Endoscopist, KIMS ICON Hospital, Vizag)

By Dr Chalapathi Rao Achanta

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