During the first test, doctors found and removed as many polyps as they could see. They used the second test to count the number of polyps that were missed on the first go-round.
The FUSE scope missed about 8 percent of adenomas -- small, flat polyps that are especially concerning to doctors because they can turn into full-blow cancers. The standard colonoscopes missed about 43 percent of those growths.
"You really see a lot better [with the FUSE scope]," Gralnek said. "The natural anatomy of the colon has these folds. You can miss polyps on the back sides of these folds and at some of the twists and turns within the colon itself. Because of the extra cameras we're seeing a lot more of the colon itself."
An expert who was not involved in the research says the technology is worth further study.
"These are important data," said Dr. Frank Sinicrope, a professor of medicine and oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
But Sinicrope said it's still not clear whether the new technology will actually prevent more colon cancers than traditional colonoscopies do.
"Detecting more polyps and adenomas does not necessarily indicate that a reduction in cancer risk or mortality will result, since many small adenomas may never develop into cancers," he pointed out.
It's logical that finding more adenomas would make the test more effective, but he points out that hasn't been proven yet.
The study was to be presented Saturday at the Digestive Diseases Week annual meeting in Orlando.
Research findings presented at medical conferences are considered preliminary because they haven't yet had the scrutiny that's required for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Until the new technology is ready for widespread use, the most important thing to do is to go for a colonoscopy.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women of average risk get colonoscopies every 10 years, st
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