Select Your Destination

< Feature Stories >

Q&A with Laurel Health Centers' Angela Dixon, CRNP

The Eaton Calendar

Advice From UPMC Doc

National program lays wreaths on veteran's graves

Non-profit maintains humane, population-control through spay and neuter

Yellow Basket Shop hosting family event this weekend!

YMCA offers Join Fee discounts in local business partnership


Preventing and Detecting Cancer

The Gold Standard for Colon Cancer Prevention


by Heather Weiner - March 24, 2017

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Home Page correspondent Sara Vogt had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Darius Abadi, a general surgery specialist with UPMC Susquehanna in Wellsboro, about colon cancer and its prevention. According to the American Cancer Society about one in twenty Americans will develop colon cancer at some point during their lifetime. But the good news is that when colorectal cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread, the five year relative survival rate is about 90%. Colonoscopy is one of the best tests we have to identify cancers in the early stages, and is the only screening that is preventative as well as detective.

When asked what is revealed during a colonoscopy procedure, Dr. Abadi explains that during a colonoscopy, polyps and cancers can be detected, as well as other conditions. Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and early detection and treatment leads to a better prognosis.

“Colon cancers don’t occur by themselves,” Dr. Abadi explains, “They usually occur out of a polyp. It is very rare for someone to get cancer right from the colon itself. Usually they get a polyp and the polyp increases in size . . . it can start changing. And as it changes it can become cancerous. So if we can catch a polyp early and remove it, then that risk of cancer is gone . . . The later a cancer is caught the poorer the prognosis.”

The American Cancer Society recommends that those over the age of fifty have a colonoscopy performed. Unfortunately 40% of individuals are not undergoing the screenings.

When asked why people hesitate to have the screenings, Dr. Abadi points to misconceptions, fear, not knowing what to expect, not knowing about the procedure, concern about potential risks, and resistance to the process of preparing for the procedure.

Dr. Abadi points out that colonoscopy is actually a low risk, minor procedure; and the benefits far outweigh any potential risk. He also notes that no physician or healthcare organization would recommend any test or procedure where the risks outweigh the benefits.

“There are a lot of patients that present to us with end stage colon cancer,” laments Dr. Abadi, “And at that point it is too late to treat them and they don’t do well. So the earlier the better, and colonoscopy is one of the best tools we have to detect colon cancers or polyps early and treat them and save the patient’s life.”

When asked about his opinion on other tests, he noted that every test has limitations. And ultimately if a potential problem is discovered as a result of another screening, such as a barium enema or a stool test, a colonoscopy will still need to be performed.

Dr. Abadi also discussed Cologuard, which he describes as, “The newest stool test that we have [and] looks for both blood and DNA. So polyps and cancers, as they grow, they shed DNA . . . but again the polyp has to be larger for it to be picked up.” If the test is positive, once again, a colonoscopy is indicated.

“Again, the gold standard is the colonoscopy,” he emphasizes.

He also notes that while the general recommendation is to have a colonoscopy at the age of fifty, and then again in ten years if the results are normal, there are other circumstances—such as family history, personal health history and ethnic background—which may alter the recommendations and lead a physician to recommend screening tests or a colonoscopy more frequently or earlier.

So if everything is normal, “You are talking about two colonoscopies in your lifetime.”

Dr. Abadi encourages us all to be proactive about our health. This includes not only getting the screenings that can save our lives, but also taking responsibility for our own well-being on a daily basis. In regards to colon health, Dr. Abadi points out that a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat—roughage, vegetables, fruits, whole grains—is essential.

For more information on colonoscopies and digestive health, call UPMC Susquehanna’s general surgery office in Wellsboro at (570) 723-0716 or the Digestive Disease Center in Williamsport at (570) 321-3454, or visit their website listed here.

Be sure to join us next Tuesday as we tour UPMC Susquehanna’s colon display for an in-depth look at colon cancer prevention and early detection!

Thanks for joining us on the Home Page Network.


Idea/Concept: Sara Vogt

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Heather Weiner

Anchor: Rhonda Pearson

Correspondent: Sara Vogt


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by UPMC Susquehanna

< Current Stories >


See More Current Stories


Q&A with Laurel Health Centers' Angela Dixon, CRNP

September 25, 2020


Back to Basics with Pastor TJ Freeman

September 24, 2020


The Eaton Calendar - Update

September 23, 2020


Hornets end 10-game losing streak with Athens

September 23, 2020


Will you help walk dogs, clean, or play with kittens?

September 22, 2020


Panthers top Hornets 17-14 on Senior Night

September 21, 2020


Highlights from the past week's broadcasts!

September 19, 2020


Keep Your Immunizations Up to Date

September 18, 2020


National program lays wreaths on veteran's graves

September 18, 2020


Non-profit maintains humane, population-control through spay and neuter

September 17, 2020


Yellow Basket Shop hosting family event this weekend!

September 16, 2020


YMCA offers Join Fee discounts in local business partnership

September 15, 2020


Hildebrand scores win 67 in 48-6 victory over CV

September 14, 2020


Highlights from the past week's broadcasts!

September 12-13, 2020


Our love and care for one another became our focus as a nation.

September 11, 2020


Masking advice from Dr. Clark of Laurel Health Centers

September 10, 2020


Step Outdoors and run, kayak & bike across Hills Creek!

September 9, 2020


A local manifestation of John 17:20-23

September 8, 2020


Communities invited to celebrate at local branches

September 7, 2020


Highlights from the past week's broadcasts!

September 5, 2020


Take a tour of this cozy Hickory Terrace townhouse!

September 4, 2020


There's plenty of space and potential in this lovely ranch!

September 3, 2020


Arcadia Theatre reopens Sept. 3 with safety measures

September 2, 2020


COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives, including education

September 1, 2020


March and service in Mansfield honors frontline workers

August 31, 2020


Highlights from the past week's broadcasts!

August 29, 2020


Hybrid Child Care Program aids parents during school year

August 28, 2020


This special fundraiser is almost over!

August 27, 2020


Complete Count Committee updates community on census

August 26, 2020


Children & stuffed animals invited to special family event

August 25, 2020


Load More Stories