Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:46:21 GMT
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night.More >>
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night. More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia wants you to understand the importance of colon screenings.
Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer.
"About 50,000 people die from colon cancer just last year and minimum of half could have been prevented by just getting a routine colonoscopy," said Dr. Raja Sappati, Phoebe Gastroenterology Group.
Gastroenterologist, Dr. Raja Sappati says a colonoscopy can detect polyps early before they turn into cancer.
Most of these cancers start as small polyps and when they are small, we can easily take it out with endoscopies, so that the beauty of it, it can prevent the cancer," said Dr. Sappati.
Dr. Sappati says you should get your first colonoscopy at age 50, though some people need to start earlier.
"Change in their bowel habit and rectal bleeding, which makes them get it at an earlier time and also if there is a family history of colon cancer," said Dr. Sappati.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that doctors say can save your life.
"We pass the scope all the way to the right side of the colon and on our way back out we look for any polyps. Polyps are visible like pimples. They can be different sizes. If we se them, we cut them out and send them to pathology," said Dr. Sappati.
In Georgia, Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cancer.
"1 and 3 Americans do not yet get a colonoscopy screening and they are not aware of colon cancer prevention," said Dr. Sappati.
After your first colonoscopy, the test should be repeated every ten years to make sure colorectal cancer doesn't go undetected.