As the prognosis of both gastric and colonic cancer remains poor, the challenge is to detect lesions at an early and treatable stage. The benefit of early detection is not only improved survival, but also that patients may be treated with endoscopic mucosal resection, a low-cost, low-morbidity and low-mortality alternative to surgery. In spite of the increasing use of endoscopy in the West, we are not detecting as many early cancers as in Japan. This chapter will discuss the possible reasons for this discrepancy and give a practical guide to 'Japanese endoscopy techniques'. Finally, we have compiled a comprehensive review of the indications, techniques and complications of endoscopic mucosal resection. Throughout the chapter, controversies have been highlighted to give an insight into the limits of our knowledge and stimulate future research.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.