Colonoscopy screenings are among the free preventive services offered now, and it is an important one for local residents, according to Laura Toole, director of community and patient services at Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
Colorectal cancer, which has few warning signs, is the second leading cause of cancer death in the country, and the incidence rate in Northeast Pennsylvania about 17 percent higher than the national average, according to research by NRCI
"A colonoscopy is one of the few cancer screenings that can prevent cancer from happening," Ms. Toole
said, explaining that the test can detect precancerous growths that can be removed before cancer develops.
But convincing people to take the test is sometimes tough, Ms. Toole
said, both because of the procedure itself and the unpleasant preparation for it.
"It's not a fun time," she
"But we're trying to educate people about the test itself and what's involved."
The fact that the procedure is now free under the health care reform measure may make it easier to convince people to get screened, she
"We know these screenings save lives," she