ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The most preventable cancer today is still the second leading cause of cancer death.
When people hear the word "colon cancer" most think of a medical screening they just don't want to take.
But medical experts said that its a screening that is the key to saving a life.
There was a packed house for a topic that doesn't draw crowds to the doctors office.
"Every time I get a chance I try to come and learn as much as possible," said Martha Fulmore, a retired educator.
And what Martha, and more than one hundred people who came to Phoebe Northwest learned Tuesday is that early detection is the best for of prevention.
But it's the way colon cancer is detected that prevents many people from getting a colonoscopy.
"It's all about screening. It's about overcoming the fear of being screened, overcoming the fear of a bowel prep," explained Dr. Ruth Montalvo, with Phoebe Gastro Associates. "And I tell my patients let's sit down, let's talk about."
Phoebe was recognized as the top hospital in the United States working to fight the disease, by the National Cancer Roundtable.
Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick said that the distinction is due to an "incredible collaborative partnership" with community partners like Albany Area Primary Health Care and the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition.
"We hope that this award brings attention to this very important health issue," said Wernick. "We have done 2600 colonoscopy's with at-risk populations and have found over 1,000 early polyps that if not treated become cancer."
And at Tuesday's lunch and learn, people heard about new sedation and other options for getting screened.
"It's changed a lot though. When I had it they didn't give you the drugs they are talking about, they didn't put me under," explained Daniel Copeland, who attended the event on Tuesday.
People also learned about statistics surrounding colon cancer.
African Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk than other populations for getting colon cancer.
One woman said that she plans to share this information with her family, and encourage them to get screened for colon cancer.
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, but the second leading cause of cancer death.
"It's about screening. Finding it early. If we are going to fight colon cancer we want to find it early," said Dr. Montalvo.
March is National Colorectal Cancer month.