Colonoscopies for the Worthy, and a Message for All

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the physicians and staff of Gastrointestinal Associates (GIA) will gather at The Endoscopy Center for a very important mission.

With colon cancer ranked as the second-deadliest cancer, GIA is making free colonoscopy exams available to a group of people in the Knoxville area who are less able to afford the vital screening procedure.

We have termed it “GIA Screening Colonoscopy Day,” and practice gastroenterologists will perform the exams for about 50 persons who were referred by the InterFaith Health Clinic and the Free Medical Clinic of America.

Our physicians and staff volunteered their personal time for GIA Screening Colonoscopy Day so that these individuals will have the same opportunity as the rest of us to avoid this deadly cancer.

There is a message in this event for everyone, because early detection is the key in the battle against colon cancer.

Anyone over 50 should have a colon exam. Persons who have a history of colon cancer in their families may need to have the exam even earlier.

GIA appreciates the help of Dr. Tom Kim of the Free Medical Clinic of America and the InterFaith Health Clinic in identifying recipients and collaborating to make the day a success. We also thank Mercy Health Partners and Premier Surgical Associates, who will stand by in case additional medical facilities or surgical assistance might be needed. Other partners include the The Endoscopy Center, Anesthesia Associates of Knoxville, GI Pathology of Memphis, Boston Scientific, Interactive Optics, the American Cancer Society and Braintree Laboratories Inc., for prep kits. Media sponsors include The Knoxville News Sentinel and WBIR-TV.

I personally thank all of our co-sponsors and especially our physicians and staff who gave up their day off to help these very worthy recipients. Our hope is that everyone will see the value of screenings to prevent colon cancer.