Donors support reduced cancer incidence in our community

33 New donor-funded endoscopes detect colon, lung and stomach cancers

Thanks to generous donors, 33 of the most advanced high-definition endoscopes are now in use at Guelph General Hospital.

The scopes were purchased at a cost of just over $1 million and include 17 colonoscopes, four bronchoscopes, nine gastroscopes, and three scopes for viewing the small intestine, pancreas and bile ducts.

A scope is a flexible tube with a camera lens at the end. The scope is inserted in the body and magnified images from the camera lens are displayed on a screen where the physician can see them.

Our General Surgeons, Respirologists and Gastroenterologists are the experts in intestines, lungs and stomachs who use the scopes to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases by performing scope procedures. The high image quality produced by the new devices allow our specialists to find and remove pre-cancerous growths called polyps more easily.

The superior picture provided by the new scopes also allows the specialists to remove far larger polyps than they could before, reducing the need for more invasive surgery. About 7,000 of these procedures are performed at Guelph General Hospital in a typical year.

Gastroenterologist Dr. James Hewak credits the decrease in colon cancer incidence in Canada to the advancements in endoscopy as a health prevention and promotion procedure.

He says, “We can prevent cancer with these tools. Endoscopes save lives. Our donors are reducing cancer occurrence and absolutely saving lives by funding these.”

The average life span for these scopes is around seven years and huge gains in technology occur in that time. Dr. Hewak suggested thinking about how much personal computers or cell phones advance each year and you can well imagine his excitement about the new endoscopes.

Guelph General Hospital is committed to the constant upgrading medical equipment to ensure that our caregivers have the best tools at their disposal for excellence in patient care. Donations from the community ensure that these continual upgrades can happen.

Dr. Hewak expressed, “We are so grateful for the people in our community who donate to the hospital. On behalf of all of the staff who use these scopes, and more importantly the patients who benefit from them, I say a huge thank you. The reality is that any of us may need these procedures and the whole community benefits from having these best-in-class scopes here.”

The Foundation’s Board Chair, Paul Osborne, explains how gratifying it is to receive updates about equipment that donors have funded. Paul explains, “To see the evidence first hand that donors are improving patient care inspires me. It inspires all of us who serve on the Board. Donors in this community want their caregivers to have the most advanced technology at their disposal and are willing to work with the Foundation to make it happen. These 33 new endoscopes will benefit so many patients and provide peace of mind to their loved ones.”

Thousands of caring members of our community helped bring these vital patient care tools to our Hospital including donors who contributed to our capital campaign, responded to our recent mailings, made online gifts, and purchased 50/50 Hospital Lottery tickets. This is a shining example of how together, we can save lives and improve health.