Colonoscopies & Care: The importance of regular screenings

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Colonoscopies are often a topic of debate, with many people dismissing them as overly invasive and even an invasion of privacy. However, it doesn’t need to be dreaded and avoided. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, organizations across the United States, including Tri-County Health Care, are taking a stand against colorectal cancer. Our mission is to educate and spread awareness about one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Colorectal or Colon cancer awareness dark blue ribbon on helping hand. colonoscopies

Susan Marco

Susan Marco, an employee at Tri-County Health Care, is especially passionate about early prevention screening. Her story about family and early prevention truly illustrates the importance of testing. She is no stranger to colonoscopies and felt sharing her story would greatly alleviate how many feel when they hit the recommended screening age.

“It was the early discovery that saved her life,” said Susan when discussing her mother’s cancer diagnosis. At 50, Susan’s mother was diagnosed with colon cancer during a routine colonoscopy. Without the screening, she most likely would have died. Since then, Susan has felt it was her duty to embrace early prevention screening and encourage others to do the same. She recently completed her third colonoscopy in January 2021.

The preparation

The most difficult part about a colonoscopy according to Susan is the preparation. The procedure itself went fine but the preparation does require some steps. After a consultation with her doctor, she had to take an over-the-counter laxative that would clear her colon. The medicine is typically mixed with a sports drink.

The next morning, she visited Tri-County Health Care and was checked in for her appointment. The nurses made her stay comfortable and prepared her for surgery. She was sedated for the procedure. The entire process only took about half a day to complete.

“The preparation and procedure are such small things and take up such a small amount of time, so why wouldn’t everyone do this in order to avoid colon cancer?” said Susan when asked about her experience.

My family cared for me

“I work at Tri-County Health Care, so people asked if it was uncomfortable for me to have my co-workers take care of me during the procedure. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all! It felt like my family caring for me,” said Susan. Tri-County Health Care provides this type of environment for everyone. Comfortability is paramount to the team during such a delicate process.

Dr. Timothy Monson. colonoscopies

Timothy Monson, M.D., MBA, FACS

Susan is a recruiter, and it’s her job to find the best medical talent out there. She actually recruited Dr. Monson who conducted her colonoscopy. According to Susan, Dr. Monson is a remarkable provider and a kind man that approaches every surgical scenario with poise and professionalism. He is literally perfect for Tri-County Health Care and Susan knew she was in capable hands. The colonoscopy went well and Dr. Monson played a pivotal role in Susan’s continued good health.

Prevention is key

During her previous colonoscopies, Susan expressed that she felt like just a number. Her procedure was always met with cold sterility, far from the family-like atmosphere she experienced at Tri-County Health Care.

In many cases, colon cancer shows no symptoms, but routine screening can prevent and detect this type of cancer. Most people should begin receiving routine screening around age 45 and Tri-County Health Care offers multiple colon cancer screening options. Regardless of where you choose to have such a procedure, please join Susan in the fight against colorectal cancer and for March. Visit TCHC.org for more information about screening, and call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment.