Patients perceive endoscopic procedures, such as gastroscopy and colonoscopy, as invasive and painful. As a result of anxiety and psychological inhibition, few patients are willing to undergo these procedures, which can early diagnose and treat certain problems, reducing the need for frequency of more invasive surgery. UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme was created to perform endoscopic studies of digestive diseases and conduct cancer prevention under excellent conditions and within a comfortable setting, taking into account the patient’s mental and physical needs.
The procedure is performed in a relaxing facility, equipped with the most modern, high-definition endoscopic devices. The team is composed of two highly-experienced physicians dedicated to the patient. The endoscopy practitioner performs tests utilizing the most physiological techniques reducing complications related to the procedure and post-procedure period, while the anesthesiologist is responsible for monitoring the patient’s comfort levels. The two physicians collaborate to make the procedure excellent in both diagnostic and perceptual-cognitive terms.
This test is used to study and diagnose GI disorders such as dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer, Helicobacter Pylori infections, esophagitis, and irritable bowel syndrome, which are common conditions that also carry high health care costs. Despite being very common, these are highly underestimated and their actual incidence and prevalence is difficult to measure, although recent data suggests an increase in their frequency. Many of these conditions, if not adequately treated, can cause severe complications, potentially life-threatening.
This is the test of choice for screening for colon-rectum cancer, the most common GI tract tumor in Italy (51,900 cases in 2015, source: I numeri del cancro in Italia nel 2015, AIOM-AIRTUM, 2015) and Europe (471,000 cases in 2012, source: International Agency for Research on Cancer, WHO, 2012). The incidence is higher in men compared to women and in addition to family history and the presence of inflammatory bowel diseases, the main risk factors include diabetes, a diet low in fiber and high in saturated fats, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, exposure to radiation, smoking, and alcohol abuse. The prognosis is relatively good compared to other gastrointestinal cancers. Colon-rectum cancer is the only kind of tumor for which a screening and periodical surveillance program for men has proved effective to reduce the mortality rate. For this reason, in prevention programs, all official health organizations recommend a colonoscopy for those over the age of 50.
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