Oregon Clinic leading the way in detecting colon cancer

Colonoscopy at The Oregon Clinic

One in 20 Americans will be affected by colon cancer this year, and The Oregon Clinic in Tualatin is leading the way in detecting the second-deadliest cancer.

Dr. Swapna Reddy, a gastroenterologist at The Oregon Clinic, says colon cancer pre-cancer polyps are detected in 58 percent of men and 46 percent of women. National benchmarks say it's 30 percent for men and 25 percent for women.

“We are actually above average for the national benchmark for detecting precancerous polyps,” said Dr. Reddy.

Fifty-one doctors at the clinic believe the reason is because of their colonoscopy procedures.

“We believe [it] is the gold standard for not only detecting pre-cancerous polyps and removing them, but also preventing colon cancer,” said Dr. Reddy.

It doesn’t matter if you have a family history of colon cancer or not - you should simply take the test. Doctors are finding it in millennials, and those like colon cancer survivor Katie Lee, who is a part of Generation X.

“You know when something is not right with your body... You are your own best advocate to go ask those questions and get checked out," Lee said.

Lee said she noticed the symptoms involving pain, bleeding and change in bowel movements at age 33.

“I was surprised and shocked. I remember my dad was there with me. He took me for the colonoscopy," she said. “I remember waking up in kind of a little bit of pain because they had to remove three polyps from my rectum and one from my ascending colon all the way on the other side of the colon.”

Lee said one of the polyps was cancerous and in its first stage.

She thanks The Oregon Clinic doctors for detecting the cancer and allowing her to have a future with her family.

“I can tell you from experience that getting screened and getting the OK is much easier than getting the cancer treatment,” said Lee.

Dr. Reddy added, if the cancer is detected early enough, you have a 90 percent survival rate within 5 years.

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