Cost effective and non-invasive ‘sponge on a string’ test for oesophageal cancer proves promising in latest trials
A new method of diagnosing and monitoring patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition that develops into oesophageal cancer in around one in ten cases, has proven successful in recent trials.
The method of diagnosis involves a patient swallowing a Cytosponge capsule which is then removed by pulling the string. The sponge expands in the body, collecting cells on its way out.
The traditional method of diagnosis for oesophageal cancer, also known as cancer of the gullet, would usually involve a patient undergoing an endoscopy where a camera is inserted down the throat and a small sample of cells is extracted by biopsy.
The new method of diagnosis is much less invasive for patients and can be carried out in GP surgeries without sedation. Furthermore, while an endoscopy costs around £600 to perform, the considerably cheaper ‘sponge on a string’ test costs just £25.
Gwen Kirby-Dent, senior clinical negligence solicitor in Thompsons Solicitors’ Chelmsford office said: “Too often delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer lead to devastating consequences for patients and their families.
“Around 8,500 new cases of oesophageal cancer are diagnosed each year, and early diagnosis is vital in ensuring patients receive the best possible care and treatment at the earliest opportunity.
“Many patients understandably find the prospect of a traditional endoscopy a daunting one which they would rather avoid. This new technique is far less invasive and could well serve to break down one aspect of the fear about seeking a diagnosis, while also delivering accurate and efficient results for conditions such as Barrett’s oesophagus or cancer of the gullet.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.