Essential Pittsburgh
5:29 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Can a Capsule Camera Replace the Colonoscopy?

This colon pill camera is what many believe will encourage more people to get screening done for colon cancer.
Credit Euchiasmus / Wikipedia Commons

Colon cancer is the second most common cancer-related death in the U.S.

The FDA has approved a new colonoscopy capsule which is a camera in pill form. There are many advantages to this capsule, but people are wondering if this new colon cancer detection device will replace the colonoscopy.

Dr. Edward Chu, deputy director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute says that the pill is not a replacement for the colonoscopy.

“It’s still really too early from my perspective to say that this is the new standard. Not too long ago one of the big challenges with this pill camera was that there wasn’t sufficient battery time. You could actually get pictures going down to the small intestine but the large intestine, where we are looking at the colorectal region, actually the battery time was insufficient.”

Dr. Paul Lebovitz, Gastroenterologist with Allegheny Health Network agrees with Dr. Chu that the colonoscopy should still be the gold standard of colon screening. But he adds that any reason for people to get to the doctor for a colon cancer screening is good.