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Music to our rears - can Mozart help find bowel cancer?

Monday 14 November, 2011 by Melissa

Every so often a story comes along that must be blogged about here at CYCR.

This latest offering from the Medical Observer is one such article. It notes a study undertaken in America by the University of Texas Health Center in Houston where endoscopists performing colonoscopies found more adenomas (mushroom shaped polyps in the bowel which can become cancerous) while listening to Mozart.

Two experienced endoscope operators were used as part of the experiment which compared their results while listening to Mozart, not listening to Mozart and their baseline rate. It's apparently something some researches have dubbed the "Mozart effect" where short-term, spatial temporal reasoning improves while listening to the young, composing prodigy's music. Other researchers argue it's simply a change in mood and arousal listening to any music that improves such reasoning.

Could it be true that doctors rocking out to AC/DC while performing colonoscopies could be more aware of adenomas/bowel cancer than those not listening to music at all? And should hospitals offering colonoscopy services start thinking about booking some live gigs?

I mean, let's face it; doctors and nurses wouldn't be offended by a bit of roadie bum crack would they? As always, before you book in for a rocking colonoscopy to check for bowel cancer (unless that's the advice you've been given by your GP or specialist), we highly recommend doing a bowel cancer screening test.

The test, a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), is a simple, cheap at-home test that's a less invasive way of checking for the early signs of bowel cancer. It's so important because in many cases there are no visible symptoms of early stage bowel cancer. FOBTs look specifically for bleeding from polyps alerting your doctors that more investigation is needed i.e. a colonoscopy.

And if you do need a colonoscopy, perhaps compiling a list of music you'd want your endoscopist to listen to, to heighten his or her alertness, might be a good way of calming the nerves before the procedure.

My personal colonoscopy-related choices would be (in no particular order) Beyonce's Bootylicious, Sir Mixalot's Baby Got Back, Groove Armada's I See You Baby (Shakin' that Ass) and Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls.

So what would you choose for your endoscopist to listen to? Tell us below.

Picture courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

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