by the time you are symptomatic you are probably done for. Pat the Salt had a potential pancreatic issue sorted by esophagogastroduodenoscopy an invasion from the other end of the digestive tract. It really is a Incredible Journey [R] up the oompah, round the corner and diagnose a crop of polyps, and probably lasso them off with a little wire loop. Did someone mention polyps? Many of us older people will have those too; and they are indicative of colon cancer but the time scale for the transition from polyp to bloody tumour is from 10 to 40 years, so again you're much more likely to die with than from.
story about transcontinental pets is much less appropriate here than Richard Fleischer's 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. In that story, the writers throw physiological sense out of window to imagine a submarine and its crew being miniaturised and inserted into a chap's bloodstream to zap a clot on his brain. Biophysical constraints dictate that some things have to be the same size. All mammalian red blood cells, for example, are 8μm across. We have more items in that department than mice, not bigger cells. All the boys in the cinema in 1966 were delighted that Rachel Welch's bosom was not shrunk by a single jot of tittle. The problem is that the esophagogastroduodenoscope can reach down as far as it can and the colonoscope can reach up as far as it can but that leaves a whole inaccessible bowel section in the middle. It's like the joke about the nun bathing without removing her habit: "I wash down as far as possible and then I wash up as far as possible; and then I wash possible". Someone had the bright idea of untethering the camera and pilloscopy aka capsule endoscopy was born. This is a small 25mm x 10mm capsule containing a camera, battery and a light (it's dark in there). First you flush out the bowel contents with
"Any sufficiently advanced technology
is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke