Phoebe's Colorectal Cancer Program helps save lives

Phoebe's Colorectal Cancer Program helps save lives
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has made it their mission for 2018 to save more lives with their colorectal cancer program. (Source: WALB)
Marion Collier is a colon cancer survivor who received help from Phoebe and the Horizon Cancer Coalition back in 2015. (Source: WALB)
Marion Collier is a colon cancer survivor who received help from Phoebe and the Horizon Cancer Coalition back in 2015. (Source: WALB)
Phoebe Digestive Health Center is where patients can go to receive colon cancer screenings. (Source: WALB)
Phoebe Digestive Health Center is where patients can go to receive colon cancer screenings. (Source: WALB)
Doctor Ira Kneep sees many patients with colon cancer and health screenings. (Source: WALB)
Doctor Ira Kneep sees many patients with colon cancer and health screenings. (Source: WALB)
Patients in South Georgia are now able to receive colon cancer treatments and screenings for free at Phoebe. (Source: WALB)
Patients in South Georgia are now able to receive colon cancer treatments and screenings for free at Phoebe. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - This month, people across the country are recognizing National Colon Cancer month.

That includes one South Georgia hospital who is committing 2018 to saving lives.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is offering free colonoscopy's through its Colorectal Cancer Program.

Officials with Phoebe said the hospital is concerned there will be 150,000 colon cancer cases this year. Of those, 50,000 will die. To prevent this, the hospital is offering free screenings and treatments.

Hospital officials said they have already saved over a 1,000 lives.

"I was very devastated. I was scared, I didn't know what to do. Didn't have no insurance. Didn't know what to do. Didn't know who to turn to," said Marion Collier, a cancer survivor.

That is how Collier felt when she was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015.

Collier lost her job and had no health insurance that could help her get the right treatments to cure the disease.

"I don't have no insurance, I said I don't know what I'm going to do. I know there's something out there. I said I know I got God on my side, something's going to happen," said Collier.

That something was being introduced to a program at Phoebe that would save her life for free.

"The realization is that for many people there's obstacles, financial barriers, the desire to not undergo preps, the inconvenience of taking time to be able to do things. So, all those things mount up," said Phoebe Gastroenterologist Dr. Ira Kneep.

The hospital recognized this and decided it was time to partner with Horizon's Cancer Coalition to help patients who can't afford treatments or screenings get help at no charge.

"So, this is a very important opportunity for us to be able to rid us of colon cancer," said Kneep.

An opportunity that allowed doctors to remove cancer from Collier and say that she's cancer-free.

"He found no cancer. Everything is fine. The last time I went was 2017 in November. He told me everything was fine and he found no cancer and I don't have to come back to one to three years," said Collier.

The hospital said if you are worried about colon cancer treatments or screenings, visit your local physician who could then direct you to Phoebe and the cancer coalition for free treatments.

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