When it comes to getting tattoos, regret is often not far behind. In fact, according to a 2015 Harris Poll, nearly one-fourth (23%) of Americans with tattoos say they regret getting one. But when it comes to colon cancer surveillance and prevention there’s one tattoo that you and your patients never regret — the endoscopic tattoo.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly 100,000 new cases of colorectal cancer in 20181 and gastroenterologists are facing the challenge of catching the disease early and conducting proper long-term surveillance.
Fortunately, endoscopic tattooing has proven to be an invaluable tool for surgical localization and interval colon cancer surveillance in the ongoing battle against this preventable disease. Unfortunately, this step is often forgotten or overlooked.
Whatever the reason for the oversight, endoscopic tattooing provides the only definitive, permanent way a clinician can be certain they are following the same disease throughout a patient’s lifetime. When an endoscopic tattoo is not used on suspicious lesions that are sent for surgical resection, there can be serious consequences including:2
Longer surgical times while the surgeon attempts to locate the lesions
Additional colonoscopies because the surgeon sends the patient back for tattoo placement
The need for the surgeon to convert from a laparoscopic to an open procedure
The need for the surgeon to do an intraoperative colonoscopy
Wrong site surgery - the potential for the surgeon to remove the wrong section of bowel
Ultimately, patients, surgeons, and gastroenterologists all benefit from tattooing suspicious lesions that will need surgery or future endoscopic procedures. That’s why, earlier this year, we were proud to introduce the latest tool in the fight against colon cancer, Spot® Ex Endoscopic Tattoo.
Spot Ex is indicated for both clinical surveillance and surgical localization3 and is permanent, making long-term, follow-up visits fast and simple. Doctors don’t need to worry about spending valuable time hunting for previously tattooed polyps for up to ten years later if a tattoo marks the Spot. And with the latest updates to the American Cancer Society screening recommendations, lowering the age from 50 to 45, the benefits of endoscopic tattoos are greater than ever.
Even though the pros of endoscopic tattooing are clear, we know there may be questions for doctors and patients alike. That’s why we built this easy-to-reference infographic to help spread the word about the tattoo you’ll never regret.
Share, print, and even embed this easy guide on your own site for fast facts on what endoscopic tattooing is, when tattoos are used, why tattoos are used, and how they’re helping physicians in the fight against colon cancer.
1 - American Cancer Society 2 - Acuna SA, et. al., Preoperative localization of colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surg. Endosc. 2017; 31:2366-2379. 3 - Spot Ex Indication. Instructions for Use. G45-006 Rev03. May 2018.