Are you due for a colon screening? If you’re over age 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years, you are. Even if you don’t have a family history of colon cancer, you should speak with your doctor about a colon screening.

“Colon cancer in the U.S. is a big deal. It is the third most common cancer. Skin cancer is number one, lung cancer is number two, [colorectal cancer] is number three; and it’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths,” states James Wishau, MD in a 2009 seminar on colonoscopies. Polyps, growths that stick out of the lining of the colon or rectum, often show no symptoms and some types can turn into cancer within five to 15 years. During a routine colonoscopy, polyps can be removed, preventing the cancer from ever forming.

A colonoscopy is a quick, easy outpatient procedure that can be vital to a healthy, happy and long life. The process usually lasts only 30 minutes to one hour, and only occasionally causes a small degree of discomfort. Risks can include infection, perforation of the bowel, bleeding or an adverse reaction to medication; however, risks are extremely rare and are minimal when compared with those associated with colon cancer. Patients should discuss risks and benefits of a colonoscopy with their doctor, especially if there are questions or concerns.

Anyone who schedules a first-time colonoscopy at Fort HealthCare by April 15 and completes the procedure by May 30 will receive a $10 fuel card at the time of the appointment. To book an appointment, call Fort HealthCare Surgical Associates at (920) 563-7900 or the Lake Mills Clinic at (920) 648-7683.

More information, including Dr. Wishau’s entire 45 minute seminar on colonoscopies, can be found at Fort HealthCare participates in most insurance plans. Many insurances offer coverage for most common, age specific screening tests, including colonoscopies. Please consult with your insurance provider if you have questions about coverage. Visit for more information.