March 18, 2015
Louisa, Ky — When Greg Kiser’s doctor recommended that he get a routine colonoscopy when he turned 50, he didn’t think twice about getting it scheduled.
“A colonoscopy is the one screening test that can actually prevent cancer,” said Kiser, Three Rivers Medical Center CEO. “With this one test, I am able to reduce my risk of dying from colon cancer in half, I can’t argue with those figures.”
Colon cancer starts in the large intestine as a polyp, a benign growth made up of precancerous cells. During a colonoscopy, most polyps can be removed before they turn cancerous. Most patients who develop colon cancer experience no symptoms until the disease is advanced and difficult to treat. That’s why screenings are so important.
“Studies have proven that colonoscopies save lives,” said Kiser. “Unfortunately, some people are afraid of them or embarrassed about having the procedure done. As a result, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. When you turn 50, listen to your doctor and schedule your colonoscopy. It’s easier than facing a cancer diagnosis.”
Colonoscopy is a painless procedure that uses a flexible scope with a camera to examine the lining of the colon for polyps. To prepare for the procedure, patients have to drink a solution to clear out the colon so the doctor can easily see any polyps and remove them. Different health conditions require different types of preparations.
“No one looks forward to this procedure, but we do everything we can to help alleviate people’s fears when they come in for the test,” says Dr. Thomas H. Frazier, gastroenterologist. “We explain all aspects of procedure. We are very conscious of protecting the patient’s dignity and privacy. “
“It sounds worse than it is. You are sedated, so it doesn’t hurt,” said Kiser, who had the test performed on March 6th, which was national Dress in Blue Day. Dress in Blue Day is a day designated to promote colon cancer screenings.
“Our staff and physician are very professional. They are committed to do the work they do to prevent cancer and save lives. I wouldn’t go anywhere else when I can receive exceptional care from people I know and trust.
About 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, with nearly 90% of the disease occurring in people 50 and older. Family history, smoking, obesity and having a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Everyone over the age of 50 should get a colonoscopy, and at-risk groups should start earlier. For people of average risk, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years, if no polyps are found.
Board certified gastroenterologist, Thomas H. Frazier performs hundreds of colonoscopies a year at Three Rivers Medical Center to protect patients against cancer.
Dr. Frazier has experience in treating patients with digestive tract problems, such as swallowing disorders, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, colon cancer, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He also treats patients with diseases of the liver and pancreas.
For more information about getting your screening colonoscopy or other services provided by Dr. Thomas H. Frazier, please call 606-638-9495.