16/01/2017 09:58 GMT

Colonoscopy To Be Performed Live On TV In Cancer Awareness Advert

The broadcast will be a world first.

A colonoscopy will be performed live on Channel 4 in a bid to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

The advert will broadcast a colonoscopy - where a thin, flexible tube with a camera (a colonoscope) is inserted into the colon and small growths called polyps are removed.

While most polyps don’t develop into cancer, some do, therefore removing them can help prevent bowel cancer developing. 

Sam Edwards via Getty Images

The 90-second advert will be world’s first to be broadcast from within the human body.

The ad is part of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign, a documentary-style series of adverts showing the reality of day-to-day life for those affected by cancer.

Philip McSparron is having the colonoscopy after tests were performed as part of routine bowel cancer screening.

He said he hoped that having the procedure on live TV would show others that it is not something to be afraid of.

He said: “My brother’s bowel cancer was caught early in 2010 and since then, I’ve been careful to go for screening.

“By allowing my colonoscopy to be shown live, I hope to show that it’s a simple procedure, not something to be frightened of.

“Hopefully people will be interested in seeing the live footage and it will encourage them to be more willing to talk about cancer and think about taking up regular screening when offered.” 

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the third most common cancer in the UK. About 1 in every 18 people in the UK will develop it during their lifetime. 

The procedure will be performed and filmed at Cardiff and Vale University hospital by Doctor Sunil Dolwani. An expert in removing complex bowel polyps, Doctor Dolwani will explain what viewers can see throughout the live broadcast.

Cancer Research UK will be streaming live on Facebook with a cancer nurse to answer viewers’ questions and the ad will also be available across Channel 4’s social media accounts.

Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: “Broadcasting Philip’s colonoscopy live gives us the opportunity to show one of the many people across the UK who is benefiting from procedures that wouldn’t be possible without research.

“We want viewers to join us to experience the unique insight of seeing live inside the human body, and witness a procedure that can actually prevent cancer from developing.

“It’s our ambition to speed up progress so that within the next 20 years, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.

“At Cancer Research UK, we rely on people’s generosity as we don’t receive any government funding for our life-saving research.

“We hope our live advert will show the impact research has made so far, and inspire people to see how their support can enable continued work to beat cancer.”

Entitled ‘Live From The Inside’, the 90-second advert airs on January 18 at around 3.25pm.