LARGO, Fla. — Leading the way, right here in Tampa Bay, Largo Medical Center is now the first hospital in the country to offer a newly FDA approved technology to help doctors detect colon cancer early.
This is great news for patients, as the recommended age for first colonoscopy for those at average risk of colon cancer is now 45 instead of 50, according to the American Cancer Society.
The newly FDA-approved technology is an artificial intelligence that aids doctors during colonoscopies. Patients won’t feel a difference during the colonoscopy. It’s still the same scope, but now it’s smarter.
“We know that usually, it’s around 20-25 percent miss rate as far as polyps. And what we, as GI physicians, we are afraid of, it’s something called interval cancer, which means between the colonoscopy we have done and the next one; the patient develops colon cancer,” said Dr. Meir Mizrahi, Medical Director of Advanced GI Services for HCA Healthcare and Largo Medical Center, and the Program Director for the Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at Largo Medical Center.
But now, with this new AI called GI Genius by Medtronic, they’re missing fewer polyps. That’s because the machine is programmed to detect 31 million different kinds of polyps.
“I’ve done in my life more than 10,000 colonoscopies, maybe saw 8,000 polyps, I cannot compare myself to an artificial intelligence,” said Dr. Mizrahi.
Here’s how it works:
“When the system will recognize a polyp, there will be another square, which is green again, around the polyp. So based on the size of the polyp, the actual square will change and will give you almost the whole margins of the polyp,” said Dr. Mizrahi.
Essentially, a green square will pop up on the screen around each polyp that it sees, allowing the doctor to go back and take a closer look at the polyp.
A recent study found that GI Genius was able to identify precancerous or cancerous tumors at a 13 percent higher rate than a standard colonoscopy.
“Which might prevent 14 percent of interval cancers,” said Dr. Mizrahi.
Dr. Mizrahi is confident that this added intelligence will prolong lives and he urges people to get their colonoscopies.
The American Cancer Society recently lowered the recommended screening age for those at average risk of colon cancer from 50 to 45.
And Dr. Mizrahi says colonoscopy prep is now easier than ever.
“Today we have a very, very good product that we are using, and actually the new product is tabs, it’s not even liquid. You just take those tabs and drink a lot of water, and amazing, amazing results as far as colon cleaning,” said Dr. Mizrahi.
Colorectal, or colon cancer, is the third leading cause of death from cancer in the United States for both men and women. It usually starts from polyps or other precancerous growths in the colon.