Second annual GIA Screening Colonoscopy Day helps build awareness

Back by popular demand . . . we held our second annual GIA Screening Colonoscopy Day on Saturday, Oct. 9. This year we provided free colonoscopy screenings for 48 patients who were referred to us by Interfaith Health Clinic, The Free Medical Clinic of America and West Knox Free Clinic.

The patients referred by these non-profit agencies were extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Our team has embraced this event as a way to reach out into the community and help those who otherwise may not be able to afford this potentially life-saving procedure. But the bigger picture is that it gives us a chance to build awareness for colon cancer prevention.

While colon cancer remains one of the top five deadliest forms of cancer, it is also one of the most curable if discovered early. That means it is best to find it before you even notice any symptoms. The best way to do that is with a routine screening colonoscopy.

Through a colonoscopy, physicians are able to detect abnormal cells called polyps at their earliest stages. Often these polyps are harmless. But they can contain small cancer cells or become cancerous over time. Nearly all colon cancer begins in colon polyps.

Of the patients screened Saturday, we found potentially cancerous polyps in nearly half of them. We were able to remove those polyps and possibly prevent colon cancer from developing in those patients. That is the good news.

The bad news is the number of people who put off this procedure not realizing how important it is. Everyone over the age of 50 should have a screening colonoscopy. If you have a personal or family history of cancer, you should be screened even earlier. It is a relatively easy and painless way to prevent one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

Of course, GIA could not have done this event without the support of our co-sponsors including Anesthesia Associates of Knoxville, Mercy Health Partners, Premier Surgical Associates, The Endoscopy Center, Boston Scientific, Interactive Optics, the American Cancer Society and Braintree Laboratories Inc. To learn more about GIA Screening Colonoscopy Day see the video below.

Then I invite you to do something good for yourself. Schedule your screening colonoscopy and join the fight against colon cancer.