Dubai Health Authority’s smart clinic discusses important of colonoscopy screening.

DUBAI, 8th February, 2016 (WAM) — Health experts from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) highlighted during the Authority’s smart clinic the importance of colonoscopy screening.

Colonoscopy is a test that allows a doctor to look at the inner lining of a patient’s large intestine (rectum and colon). The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps find ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding.

During a colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected (biopsy) and abnormal growths can be taken out. Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening test to check for cancer or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum (polyps) or diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, diagnose causes of severe constipation which can be linked to hypothyroidism, diabetes etc.

Dr Khaled Bamakhrama, consultant gastroenterologist at Rashid Hospital said that the hospital conducts 1000 colonoscopies annually.

Bamakhrama said: “In the UAE, majority of patients with colon cancer are younger than those in USA and western countries. Therefore, as per Ministry of Health guidelines, it is recommended that people above 40 years should go for a colon cancer screening programme as compared to western countries where the age of screening is 50 years.”

He said, “The earlier an abnormality is found, the better the patient outcome. For example, if a polyp is detected during colonoscopy, it can be removed, thereby significantly reducing colon cancer risk. If colon cancer is detected early on, it can be treated easily and survival chances are high.”

Batoul Samarji, paediatric gastrologist at Dubai Hospital said the hospital conducts 30 paediatric colonoscopies every year and the main indication is due to blood in stools.

“Parents should not take recurrent blood in stool lightly; they should directly seek an appointment with a gastroenterologist for further investigation. In children, colon cancer is extremely rare. The more common cases of colon problems in children are constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic colitis and juvenile polyps.” she added.