A state-of-the-art camera that attaches to the side of a toilet bowl can monitor a user’s bowels for cancer by scanning stools for traces of blood, which is a sign of bowel cancer. The camera is also connected to the user’s phone, which analyzes the images to determine if the stool contains any warning signs of bowel cancer. Within minutes, the user can receive the information and share the results directly with their doctor. The initial tests of the toilet camera indicate that it is 90% effective at locating blood in stools, which means it can help save the lives of those who are at high risk of developing bowel or colon cancer.
The technology could be a game-changer in the United Kingdom, where bowel cancer is prevalent and affects over 16,000 people every year. Bowel cancer is more common in people over 50, and one in twenty people are expected to develop the disease over their lifetimes. Therefore, the toilet bowl imaging technology could help those at risk to catch the disease early and potentially save their lives.
Bowel cancer can be treated if detected early. The earlier it is detected, the higher the chances of survival. For example, if colon cancer is caught at stage one, only about 10% of people pass away after five years. However, if it is caught at stage four, when it has already spread, only 10% of people are expected to survive after five years.
The camera was created by OutSense, who claim that their device detects blood in stool nine times out of ten. However, their results still need to be reviewed to ensure accuracy. OutSense aims to gain approval for their device within two years to help patients in the United Kingdom.
David Crosby, head of prevention and early detection research at Cancer Research UK, acknowledges that the device is an interesting piece of technology that could allow people to spot early changes to their bowel health before the onset of symptoms. However, he notes that the technology is still in its early stages, and peer-reviewed evidence is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
The toilet bowl camera technology could be a groundbreaking innovation in the fight against bowel cancer, as it enables users to monitor their bowel health in a non-invasive and convenient way. Early detection is crucial in treating bowel cancer, and the camera has the potential to save lives by detecting the disease in its early stages. However, more research and testing is needed to confirm the effectiveness of the device, and its availability for patients is still a few years away.
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