It’s a fact …

The providers at Prisma Health encourage you to take charge of your health by learning how to prevent, identify and treat colon cancer. If you’re 45 or older, schedule your screening today!

Put your colonoscopy behind you … and keep your best years in front of you

About your colon

  • It is also known as the large intestine, is about 6 feet long and 2-3 inches in diameter
    It takes approximately 36 hours for your colon to remove the waste from the body after all nutrients have been removed
  • The various health problems that occur in the human colon take place when wastes and toxins are allowed to remain in the intestines for a long period of time; they are not being eliminated properly
  • The longer this waste material sits in your colon, the more likely that these toxins will be absorbed into your body
  • As these toxins remain in your body, you become more susceptible to health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diarrhea, weight problems, hemorrhoids, joint pains, vision problems, and loss of memory – to name a few
  • Promoting good colon health involves eating a healthy, balanced diet that is full of fruits and vegetables and fiber, drinking adequate amounts of water, exercising regularly and following recommended guidelines for colon cancer screening and colonoscopies

About colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is equally common in men and women. African Americans are at a higher risk for the disease than other populations. An estimated 148,810 people will be diagnosed this year, and an estimated 49,960 people will die from the disease. With early detection it is also one of the most preventable cancers because it develops from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous. It’s important to know your risk and get a colonoscopy screening if you:

  • Are 45 or older (Note: New recommendation as of May 2018)
  • Have a family history of colon cancer or polyps

Who’s at risk?

  • Men and women age 45 and older
  • People who use tobacco, are obese and are sedentary
  • People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
  • People with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as long-standing ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • People with a family history of inherited colorectal cancer
Prevention, screenings & symptoms

1. Maintain a healthy weight: Target a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25
2. Get moving: Log 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, like brisk walking, per week
3. Eat right: Make vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fish mealtime staples. Eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains Consume calcium-rich foods like low-fat or skim milk. Limit red meat and avoid processed meats
4. Stop smoking : If you smoke, quit
5. Drink less: Limit your alcohol consumption

Source: American Cancer Society

Types of screenings

Tests that find pre-cancer and cancer:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Virtual colonoscopy every five years*
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years*

Tests that mainly find cancer:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)*
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year*
  • Stool DNA (sDNA) test*

*Any abnormal result of these tests should be followed up with a colonoscopy.
Source: Colorectal Cancer at

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer rarely has symptoms in its early development, which is when the disease is most treatable, so it is important to get screened before symptoms appear.

Once present, symptoms may include:

  • Change in bowel habits or the consistency in your stool
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Stools are narrower than usual
  • Bowel does not empty completely
  • Rectal bleeding or traces of blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, i.e. cramps, gas, bloating
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting

A number of other health conditions can cause these symptoms. Your doctor is in the best position to determine the source of your symptoms. Typically, cancer does not cause pain during early stages, so it is important to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, even if you feel fine.

Who’s your doctor?

The physicians of Prisma Health encourage you to schedule a colonoscopy. It’s that simple … and it could save your life! If you don’t have a primary care physician, let us help you find one by calling 1-844-447-3627. For information about scheduling your colonoscopy with one of our providers listed below, call 864-501-5250.

Colon & Rectal Surgeons
George A. Blestel, MD
Jay A. Crockett, MD
Patrick J. Culumovic, MD
Cedrek L. McFadden, MD
James C. Rex, MD
James A. Robbins, MD

Gastroenterology & Liver Center
Gary A. Abrams, MD
Joseph Baber, DO, FACP
Joseph W. Beets, MD
Steven Clayton, MD
Albert G. Fedalei, MD
Anjani Jammula, MD

Navid Madani, MD
Lester Salwen, MD
Madhusudhan Sunkavalli, MD
Kenya Fernanders-Briggs, PA-C
Jennifer Simko, PA-C
Katie Tarpy, PA-C
David Whiting, PA-C
Carrie Humphreys, NP

Gastroenterology Specialists of IMA
Joshua Cohen, MD
Lawrence J. Hartley, MD
Enar Lurix, MD
Ali M. Yazdy, MD
Rebecca Smith, PA-C
Sarah Baranski, FNP
Sarah Bramon, ANP
Kristin Trolly, ANP

General Surgeons
Joseph A. Camunas, MD
Brian W. Dach, MD
Timothy L. Dersch, MD
Richard H. Gettys Jr., MD
Benjamin M. Manning, MD
Eric S. McGill, MD
Jenninfer E. Mihalik
Richard E. Moretz, MD
John M. Rinkliff, MD
Dane E. Smith, MD
Bradley M. Snow, MD
Viet H. Le
Derek S. Watson, MD
Joseph H. Wentzky, MD
Thomas O. Young, MD