By Tara Rippin • 11 March 2021 • 9:35
NHS trials miniature camera capsules to detect early signs of cancer.
THE NHS is trialling miniature capsule cameras, which can be swallowed by patients and provide a cancer diagnosis within hours – helping to speed up cancer checks and catch more cancers early.
The imaging technology, in a capsule no bigger than a pill, can provide a rapid diagnosis.
Known as a colon capsule endoscopy, the cameras are the latest NHS innovation to help patients access cancer checks at home.
“Traditional endoscopies mean patients need to attend hospital and have a tube inserted whereas the new technology means that people can go about their normal day,” said NHS England.
An initial group of 11,000 patients in England will receive the capsule cameras in more than 40 parts of the country.
The NHS said it has prioritised cancer care during the coronavirus pandemic and the latest figures show that hospitals carried out more than two cancer treatments for every patient they treated for Covid-19.
In December 2020, more than 25,000 patients were reportedly treated for cancer and more than 200,000 people had checks – 13,000 more than the same month the previous year.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “As we come out of ‘peak Covid’ and the disruption of the pandemic, the NHS is now pushing ahead with genuine innovation to expand services for many other conditions.
“That’s why we’re now trialling these ingenious capsule cameras to allow more people to undergo cancer investigations quickly and safely. What sounds like sci-fi is now becoming a reality, and as these minute cameras pass through your body, they take two pictures per second checking for signs of cancer and other conditions like Crohn’s disease.”
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer said: “The NHS message to anyone experiencing symptoms is clear – do not delay, help us to help you by coming forward for care – the NHS is ready and able to treat you.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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