Now, pills as effective as `unpleasant` liquid laxatives for cancer screening

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2012, 13:48 PM IST

London: The unpleasant process of drinking several litres of the liquid laxatives before a virtual colonoscopy, which has been linked to patients delaying or skipping the cancer`s recommending screening all together, may soon be a thing of past.

Mayo Clinic researchers have unveiled four small pills they claim have the same bowel-cleansing effect of the previously prescribed self-cleansing liquid required before the cancer screening.

“Some become so anxious about drinking so much liquid that they avoid the entire procedure, putting them at risk of undiagnosed cancer,” the clinic said.

That effect has added to colorectal cancer being the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Americans, according to doctors.

But now with the four tiny pills, pictured the size of a round aspirin, there`s another option that they say provides the same results of standard liquid laxatives.

For 88 per cent of colonoscopy patients, however, it`s the only one required the Mayo Clinic stated.

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,” the Daily Mail quoted C. Daniel Johnson, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology at Arizona`s Mayo Clinic as saying in a release.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, which was the first to offer the screenings for routine care, recommend regular screenings for people over the age of 50 but admit that most do not.

ANI