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Detecting Colon Cancer

Christa Dean Hild 

Panama City, Forida A colonoscopy can be a dreaded procedure, but it can save your life.  During a colonoscopy, the patient is sedated, and a camera is used to search the colon for abnormalities.

Even if you have misgivings, doctors recommend most people get a colonoscopy by the time they're 50.  Those with a family history of colon cancer should start screening even earlier.  

Sara Ballard is 61.  She's getting a colonoscopy, just to be safe.

"My family has a history of cancer, so I just want to be aware. My sister had polyps. I went with her and knew it was time for me to get one too," explains Ballard.

Dr. Christopher Wells says colon cancer can be prevented if polyps are found and removed before it becomes cancer.  He says you may not notice symptoms until it's too late. That's why the screening test is so important.

"If you look at people who have colon cancer. People who had cancers found when they had no symptoms are much more likely to be cured," explains Dr. Wells.

Dr. Wells will be leading a free seminar on colorectal cancer on Tuesday, March 27th at 5:00 p.m. at Bay Medical Center in the medical office building classrooms.  You will be able to ask questions and learn about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Call 747-6541 to reserve your seat.