The Drs: African American Colonoscopy Guidelines & Colon Cancer Risk


The Doctors: Colonoscopy

Did you know that Colon Cancer is a hereditary disease with few symptoms in the early stages? Colonoscopy screening can help save lives, but one man said he was reluctant to have the test done. With some help from The Doctors, his wife was finally able to get through to David about the importance of this procedure.

The Drs: African American Colon Cancer Risk

The Doctors: Colonoscopy Risk Factors

The Doctors explained Colonoscopy screening guidelines for patients with genetic or other risk factors for Colon Cancer.


Dr Lawrence Pirro was the oncologist who helped share information with David and Terry. Dr Jim Sears came along on the day of David’s Colonoscopy to offer moral support. Almost half a million people were diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in 2009 according to the show.

Approximately 10% of those patients die every year, and African Americans like David are about 40% more likely to die from the disease, compared to Caucasian patients.

Gastroenterologist Dr Timothy Simmons explained that most people should start having Colonoscopy screenings around age 50, but for African Americans it’s recommended to start screening at age 45.


Dr Simmons explained what was going on as he performed the exploratory procedure. He made sure to do a thorough examination during the procedure. Back in the studio, Dr Pirro was on hand with the results. David and Terry were in the audience, and since having the procedure, David’s attitude seemed to have changed.

“It’s easy and quick,” David said. “And if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for the person you love.”

The Doctors: Colonoscopy Results

Dr Travis Stork said that if you have a first degree relative, such as a parent, who has had Colon Cancer, it’s recommended that you have your first screening about 10 years before the age they were diagnosed.

Finally, Dr Pirro had the results of David’s test. The great news is that David’s Colon was completely clean and healthy. David was visibly moved by the good news, and his wife looked relieved.

The Drs: Colon Cancer Genetic Risks

Dr Pirro reminded him that it’s important to follow up with regular screenings and some genetic testing that can help detect and avoid developing Colon Cancer in the years to come.

Dr Travis said that men tend to hide their fear, “but that fear can kill men.” He congratulated Terry for helping her husband take care of his health.


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