BIDMC Docs Perform Free Colonoscopies
Last Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. on the nose, five Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center gastroenterologists paused briefly for a photo before heading off to see five Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center patients for their first ever colonoscopy. The group was participating in National Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Screening Day, an American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) sponsored event held in 10 states across the U.S. each year.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women. And while 95 percent of colorectal cancers could be prevented with early detection, only half of Americans who should get screened actually do.
Friday's event offered free screenings to underinsured or uninsured patients as one way to bring attention to the need for everyone 50 or older to get screened, regardless of their insurance status.
So, how important is getting a colonoscopy? In this small group alone, two patients had polyps removed that were sent to the pathology lab for testing. "One of the polyps was large enough to be considered high risk," said James Rabb, MD, gastroenterology. Additionally, Rabb found a mass that will require further testing to determine its significance.
Thanks to James Rabb, MD, Alphonso Brown, MD, Sarah Flier, MD, Sunil Sheth, MD Mandeep Sawhney, MD and the gastroenterology staff who gave their time and talents to this important event.
To learn more about colon cancer screenings, click here.