Living Well: Colon Cancer Screening catches dangerous polyp


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month and it’s a time Baptist Health wants to bring awareness to getting screened.

“Due to that warning sign I picked up on potentially saved me from colon cancer,” says Troy Wells, President and CEO of Baptist Health Hospital.

Baptist Health President and CEO Troy Wells admits he’s lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t until he started experiencing some symptoms that sparked some concern. Doctors recommended Troy get a colonoscopy.

“I was really lucky. Got to it soon enough because likely if I would’ve waited until 50-years-old which has been the recommended age of screening, it probably would’ve developed into colon cancer,” says Wells.

Turns out, the symptom Troy had been experiencing had nothing to do with the polyp Gastroenterologist Paul Williams found.

“The majority of all colon cancer cases start off as polyps. A polyp is a small growth that occurs in the colon,” says Paul Williams, Baptist Hospital Gastroenterologist.

At 47-years-old, Troy now fits the guidelines to get Colorectal Cancer screening. Dr. Williams says in 2019, the screening age lowered to start from 50 to 45 years of age.

“To get the results from pathology that hey this was dangerous, good thing you got it out, you know it rattled me quite a bit I have to say,” says Wells.

This month, Dr. Williams is encouraging everyone to start getting screened at 45, unless you have a family history. He says over 100,000 cases of colon cancer is found each year in the U.S.

“Of all the patients referred for screenings of colon exams, it’s estimated 50% don’t follow through with their screening. So that’s 50% of people getting missed, but what Mr. Wells did is he followed through,” says Dr. Williams.

Had he not, Troy could’ve had a different outcome. That’s why he wants people to be proactive about their health.

“A lot of guys I know my age don’t want to do that and I’m encouraging all my friends to listen to their body and take care of themselves,” says Wells.

For more information on colon cancer signs, symptoms and how to get a screening, click here:

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