Even Before COVID-19, 24% Reported Putting Off Their Colonoscopy

Olympus Surveys Patient Perceptions on Disease States, Minimally Invasive Procedures, and Healthcare during COVID-19

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., (February 19, 2021) – Olympus announced today its findings from a series of patient surveys on minimally invasive therapies for treating some common diseases and health issues. Over the course of the year, Olympus conducted surveys highlighting business-related specialty areas and key market trends.

The surveys sought to understand:

  • Colorectal Cancer Awareness: Patient understanding of the importance of colonoscopies and whether or not they are delaying their screenings.
  • Liver Health Survey: Public understanding of the signs and symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • COVID-19 and Telehealth: Public reaction to COVID-19 and expectations of healthcare providers.
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Important opportunities for further education and awareness for this condition that affects a large population of men.
  • Bariatrics Surgery as a Solution for Weight Loss: Public awareness, concerns, and perceptions of bariatric surgery as an option for weight loss.
  • COPD Awareness: Public perception of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and minimally invasive treatments for severe emphysema.

1. Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Colorectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.1 Olympus, a global manufacturer of endoscopes used to detect, diagnose and treat colon cancer, identified the following trends:

  • Lack Understanding of Symptoms: More than 50% of respondents report being unaware of what the size, shape and texture of their bowel movements can tell them about their colon health.
  • Nearly a Quarter Avoid or Delay Screening: While the large majority of respondents (82%) understand that colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening2, nearly 24% of respondents of screening age report purposely avoiding or delaying getting a colonoscopy.
  • Who’s at Higher Risk: More than 38% of respondents were unaware that colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates are highest among African Americans, who should be screened beginning at age 45 according to the American Cancer Society.3 Approximately 48% of respondents were unaware that screening guidelines recommend individuals at average risk of developing colorectal cancer get a colonoscopy every five to ten years.

For more information on screening for colorectal cancer, visit: https://www.colonoscopytoday.com.

2. Liver Health

Timed with Dry January, a popular New Year’s resolution in which people abstain from alcohol for the month of January, Olympus learned the following about patients’ awareness of liver disease:

  • Alcohol Takes the Blame for Liver Disease over Obesity, Wrongly: 40% of respondents were more likely to blame alcohol for liver disease than obesity, (wrongly, as this does not align with the statistics)4. However, 86% of respondents are aware of the risks to the liver that come with obesity and even overestimate that 25% of the population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.5
  • Little Awareness of Early Signs Spreads Fear: More than 40% of respondents say they do not know the signs of progression from fatty liver disease to chronic liver disease, and according to respondents, the scariest thing about being diagnosed with non-alcoholic liver disease is “not being diagnosed until you need a transplant.”

To learn more about Olympus’ endoscopic ultrasound products used for liver evaluation and diagnosis, visit: https://medical.olympusamerica.com/procedure/endoscopic-ultrasound-eus.

3. COVID-19 and Telehealth

The first wave of COVID-19 hit the U.S. in March 2020, closing down offices, schools, and non-essential surgeries. During this period, the world adapted to the new circumstances. In a May survey, the following patient understanding and expectations of these new circumstances were identified:

  • Patients Say They Are Not Ignoring Symptoms: Only 14% of respondents say they have ignored symptoms of what could be a serious condition because of fears of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital or doctor’s office. However, 52% of respondents did have concerns about being exposed to COVID-19 or other illnesses if they were to need surgery.
  • Telemedicine as a Viable Alternative: 73% of respondents agree that having the ability to talk to and see your doctor over a telemedicine platform would make them feel better. Sixty-six percent of respondents will ask their doctors if they have a telemedicine platform available in the event of conditions similar to those of COVID-19.
  • Patients are Expecting More Doctors’ Offices to Offer More Availability: 67% of respondents say they would appreciate if physician hours and services were extended even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about MedPresence, a telecollaboration platform for the procedure suite, visit: https://medical.olympusamerica.com/products/medpresence.

4. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition that causes the prostate to enlarge, adding pressure to the urethra and causing it to narrow and ultimately restrict the flow of urine.6 An August awareness survey of this highly common condition, which affects 8 in 10 men in their lifetime, revealed the following:7

  • Despite Prevalence, Lack of Knowledge Around BPH: 7 in 10 people are not likely to know what BPH is when asked. Of those who do know, a majority know that family history of BPH is a risk factor9. Only 52% of respondents know that obesity and lack of physical activity are also contributors.
  • More Than Half Wrongly Think That BPH Is Cancerous: 52% of respondents are likely to wrongly identify BPH as a pre-cancerous condition.8
  • Growing Concerns: When it comes to getting treated an enlarged prostate, sexual function tops the list of men’s concerns. However, they are equally concerned about avoiding a permanent implant.

For information about Olympus treatment options for BPH, visit these dedicated websites:

5. Bariatric Surgery as a Solution for Weight Loss

Obesity continues to be one of the largest public health battles that the United States faces today. Despite the growing number of obesity-related health problems, less than 2% of those eligible for bariatric surgery elect to have it. Given these statistics, Olympus, maker of technologies for performing minimally invasive bariatric procedures, sought to find out the awareness level and concerns of eligible patients:

  • Marginal Awareness around Benefits: A little more than 50% of respondents demonstrate only marginal awareness that bariatric surgery causes hormonal changes that improve weight loss by maintaining or enhancing energy expenditure.9
  • Worry about Gaining Weight Back: 20% of respondents are avoiding bariatric surgery because of concerns about surgery complications and gaining the weight back.
  • Awareness around Insurance Opportunities: 56% of respondents are aware that insurance covers bariatric surgery in most qualified cases.10

To learn more about Olympus’ state-of-the-art technologies for performing minimally invasive bariatric surgeries, visit: https://medical.olympusamerica.com/specialty/bariatrics.

6. COPD Awareness

When cold and flu season hits its stride, people with COPD often struggle more than usual to cope with their disease. Olympus, maker of the Spiration® Valve System (SVS), a minimally invasive treatment for severe emphysema, a type of COPD, conducted a survey on perceptions about COPD. Highlights included:

  • Understanding COPD: Most respondents (71%) are aware of the presence in e-cigarettes carcinogenic and toxic chemicals that can cause respiratory diseases such as COPD. In addition, over 65% of respondents admitted to not realizing that there is a genetic mutation that can cause emphysema even if you have not smoked.11
  • The Blame Game - Consumers vs. Manufacturers: Respondents are more likely to blame individual patients than cigarette marketers, 45% vs. 21% respectively, for the prevalence of the disease.
  • Patients Prefer Minimally Invasive Treatment Options: 88% of respondents say they would prefer a minimally invasive implantable device to surgery for treatment of COPD, if all outcomes were equal. Upon hearing about a minimally invasive treatment option, more than 82% of respondents believe that it should be covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

For information about Olympus endobronchial valves, visit these dedicated websites:

Full Prescriptive information can be found here, https://svs.olympusamerica.com/prescriptive-information.

Visit https://medical.olympusamerica.com/specialties,for more information on Olympus and the specialty areas it supports.

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About Olympus
Olympus is passionate about the solutions it creates for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries.
Olympus’ Medical business uses innovative capabilities in medical technology, therapeutic intervention, and precision manufacturing to help healthcare professionals deliver diagnostic, therapeutic, and minimally invasive procedures to improve clinical outcomes, reduce overall costs, and enhance the quality of life for patients. Olympus’ Medical portfolio includes endoscopes, laparoscopes, and video imaging systems, as well as surgical energy devices, system integration solutions, medical services, and a wide range of endotherapy instruments. For more information, visit medical.olympusamerica.com.

1 Colorectal Cancer Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/index.htm. Published June 8, 2020.

2 Media Backgrounders - Detail - Colorectal Cancer Screening. Default. https://www.asge.org/home/about-asge/newsroom/media-backgrounders-detail/colorectal-cancer-screening.

3 Colorectal Cancer Guideline: How Often to Have Screening Tests. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html#:~:text=The%20ACS%20recommends%20that%20people,rectum%20(a%20visual%20exam).

4 American Liver foundation cites 1 in 4 in the U.S. with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which would make the incidence much higher for non-alcoholic than alcoholic liver disease, which is 4.7%; https://www.physiciansweekly.com/u-s-prevalence-of-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-stable-at-4-7-percent

5 NASH Definition & Prevalence. American Liver Foundation. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/nonalcoholic-steatohepatitis-information-center/nash-definition-prevalence. Published November 11, 2019.

6 Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/symptoms-causes/syc-20370087. Published March 2, 2019.

7 American Urological Association, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Available at: https://www.auanet.org/education/auauniversity/medical-student-education/medical-student-curriculum/bph

8 New Study Finds Most Bariatric Surgeries Performed in Northeast, and Fewest in South Where Obesity Rates are Highest, and Economies are Weakest. American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. https://asmbs.org/articles/new-study-finds-most-bariatric-surgeries-performed-in-northeast-and-fewest-in-south-where-obesity-rates-are-highest-and-economies-are-weakest. Published June 20, 2019.

9 Public Education Committee. Benefits of Bariatric Surgery: ASMBS. American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. https://asmbs.org/patients/benefits-of-weight-loss-surgery?%2Fpatients%2Fbenefits-of-bariatric-surgery.

10 Manning S. How to get your health insurer to pay for your weight-loss surgery. Insure.com. https://www.insure.com/health-insurance/weight-loss-surgery.html. Published September 24, 2020.

11 Watson S. Is COPD Hereditary? Learn the Risk Factors. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/copd/is-copd-hereditary. Published January 28, 2017.