Gone may soon be the days when litres of unpleasant liquid laxatives are the unwelcoming first step before a virtual colonoscopy, and researchers hope colorectal cancer too.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona have unveiled four small pills they say have the same bowel-cleansing effect of the previously prescribed self-cleansing liquid required before the cancer screening.
The unpleasant process of drinking several litres of the liquid laxatives has been linked to patients delaying or skipping the cancer's recommending screening all together, according to the doctors.
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Revelation: Researchers have unveiled a new pill shown where four taken have the same bowel-cleansing effect of previously prescribed liquid laxatives needed for colonoscopies
That effect has added to colorectal cancer being the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Americans, the Mayo Clinic reports.
'Some become so anxious about drinking so much liquid that they avoid the entire procedure, putting them at risk of undiagnosed cancer,' the clinic states.
But now with the four tiny pills, pictured the size of a round aspirin, there's another option which they say provides the same results of standard liquid laxatives.
The catch is: They are only effective for virtual colonoscopies - the first screenings undergone by patients for potentially cancerous polyps.
Outdating: Patients previously had to drink several littres of a liquid, pictured, found unpleasant to most before completing a virtual colonoscopy
For 88 per cent of colonoscopy patients, however, it's the only one required the Mayo Clinic says. The exception, or the 12 per cent, would be the cases that they find something requiring a standard colonoscopy.
'Our hope is that this will make people less anxious and more likely to get screened and will ultimately result in fewer deaths from colorectal cancer,' said C. Daniel Johnson, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology at Arizona's Mayo Clinic in a release.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, which was the first to offer the screenings for routine care, recommend reg
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