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State of the art cancer-screening technology arrives in Siouxland

New advances in endoscopy lead to earlier cancer detection

There are certain cancers, like pancreatic cancer, that are typically diagnosed at a late stage, meaning the survival rate is often low.

However, there are new developments in technology that can diagnose these cancers earlier.

Dr. Fadi Rzouq explains how this works.

"We use special scopes that go through the normal GI system, through the mouth, through the stomach or the small intestine or even the colon, but those scopes have an ultrasound in the tip," says Rzouq. "We will be able to look at the structures next to the GI system."

For example, when inside the food pipe, doctors can see the heart and the blood vessels and take a biopsy through the wall of the food pipe.

"In the past, to be able to get and biopsy those, they will do a big, open surgery where people will stay in the hospital for a week, and of course there are more problems that could happen with this surgery," says Rzouq.

Nowadays, doctors can take a biopsy in just a few minutes, with a minimally invasive procedure, where patients wake up about a half hour afterwards and are able to leave the same day.

"That will help us diagnose pancreatic or any kind of cancer as early as we can," says Rzouq.

The Dunes Surgical hospital recently got this endoscopy ultrasound machine. It is the newest machine in the country.

Beforehand, there were similar procedures in Des Moines, Sioux Falls, and Omaha.

"We did get this new machine to be able to help the people of Siouxland so they can get the high quality medical care in Sioux City," says Rzouq.

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