LUMBERTON — With the help of a new endoscope, Dr. Gregory Locklear says he is able to detect more colon cancers than ever before.
“I’ve found polyps I dont think I would have found without this new scope,” he said.
According to Locklear, Robeson Digestive Diseases is the only practice in the area to use to the Fuse endoscope system for colonoscopies.
Because it has three cameras and a larger field of vision, the Fuse scope detects 69 percent more pre-cancerous growths than traditional scopes, according to the device’s maker, EndoChoice, citing a study in The Lancet Oncology.
The new scope provides a 330-degree field of view, nearly double that of the traditional scope.
Locklear said the Fuse has a missing rate of about 8 percent, compared with the traditional scope, which can miss about 42 percent of pre-cancerous lesions.
“I’ve been using the traditional scopes for 35 years and I’ve been using this one for about a few months and the difference is unreal,” he said.
Catching polyps early is key to treating colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women.
The procedure is the same, although Locklear says it may be faster.
Locklear said the colon is made up of folds in which it’s easy for polyps to hide. During a traditional endoscopy, the scope scans from the beginning of the colon to the end and back. Because the new scope takes a more detailled view of the colon’s folds, the six- to seven-minute scan from the end of the colon back does not need to be as thorough.
Locklear said he anticipates the new scope will become the standard for care in the future.
“It’s hard really to go back to the old scope,” he said.