SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Artificial Intelligence or AI is transforming the field of medicine … becoming part of everything from diagnosis to treatment to research. It gathers vast amounts of medical data to identify patterns, such as which cancers will respond to which treatments better, or which hip replacement will work best for your body type. And now, AI is working to make colonoscopies better than ever before. Polyps
106 thousand people will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year. More than 52 thousand will die from it. The best way to protect yourself, a colonoscopy.
Now doctors are using AI to help detect cancerous polyps.
Nate Merriman, MD Gastroenterologist at Intermountain Health says, “GI genius is an artificial intelligence technology that pulls from a pool of about 13 million pictures of polyps in real time and helps to identify high risk tissue in the colon during the procedure.”
GI genius works in tandem with the traditional colonoscopy. As the endoscopist examines the colon, the GI genius analyzes the images captured during the procedure to help identify suspicious spots.
Doctor Merriman explains, “It puts a green box around the area as a whole that could have a polyp tissue in it. So, you can, in some ways, even see around corners or folds where you see a corner of the polyp.”
A recent study found that the GI genus scan showed a 14 percent increase in the detection rate for each physician. In the Intermountain Health System, Gastroenterologist Nate Merriman says it could save as many as 18 lives every year.
Doctor Merriman says, “That’s significant over just five centers. You imagine how many colonoscopy centers we have in the country, how many patients we could save with this.”
Doctors agree early detection is the most important thing they can do to prevent colon cancer and death. It costs up to 250 thousand dollars to treat a patient once diagnosed with later stage colon cancer.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer, Editor.
AI DETECTING MORE DEADLY POLYPS THAN EVER BEFORE
BACKGROUND: In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cases of colorectal cancers in the United States for 2023 will be 106,970. The rate of people being diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer has dropped each year mainly because more people are getting screened and changing their lifestyle-related risk factors. Colorectal cancer is cancer that develops in the tissues of the colon or rectum and happens when there are changes in a person’s genetic material (DNA). These changes are also called mutations or variants and the exact cause is unknown. But certain genetic changes that raise the risk for colorectal cancer are inherited.
SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS: Symptoms of colorectal cancer include a change in bowel habits for more than a few days like diarrhea, constipation, feeling that the bowel does not empty completely, or stool that is narrower or has a different shape than usual; blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool; frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps; weight loss for no known reason; and fatigue. Most experts recommend that a person start screenings for colorectal cancer at age 45 and continue until at least age 75. If the screening results are abnormal, more tests may be ordered to find out if there is cancer present. Possible tests include a physical exam; a digital rectal exam; tests that are also used for screening (colonoscopy, stool tests, etc.) and biopsy, if they have not already been taken; and other blood and tissue tests.
NEW RESEARCH GIVES HOPE: Scientists at City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, are developing a unique blood test that can be used to detect early onset colorectal cancer. Their research is a first step to detect colorectal cancer noninvasively and inexpensively at an earlier and more treatable stage. “The study is significant because it is the first time a novel microRNA (miRNA) biomarker has been identified, developed, and validated to detect early-onset colorectal cancer,” said Ajay Goel, Ph.D., M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics at City of Hope. To enhance specificity and accuracy, the researchers eliminated all miRNA markers shared by people with early and late onset colorectal cancer to better identify patients with early onset colorectal cancer. They were able to identify four miRNAs that, combined, create a signature biomarker which can be used to detect and diagnose the presence of early onset colorectal cancer in younger adults.
* For More Information, Contact: Erin Goff
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