Safe and Sound: Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 3:40 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In this week’s Safe and Sound, we’re talking about Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

At Phoebe Putney Health System, around 50,000 people die from this disease every year, according to Dr. Ira Knepp, director of gastroenterology.

Phoebe Gastroenterology
Phoebe Gastroenterology( | Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital)

But getting a colonoscopy on time can be a lifesaver by helping reduce this number.

It’s a screening of your colon where a doctor uses a small lighted tube to look for anything that’s not normal.

This can help detect it early so you can get faster treatment and have a better survival rate.

Knepp said regardless of the treatment, don’t delay seeing your doctor even in a pandemic.

If you do, your procedure could be more complicated or the condition can advance further if not treated.

“Colon cancer is a very tough disease when it’s advanced. By being on time, you’re minimizing that possibility. So, I encourage you, as it affects all of us and none of us want to have these things done because they take time and they take effort but it’s absolutely critical to do it as soon as your time will allow,” Knepp said.

As far as when to get a colonoscopy, for African-Americans, the age is 45 and for Caucasians, it’s age 50. This is for an average person with no known risk factors.

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