IU Health Surgeon Discusses Colon Health

IU HealthColon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. It’s also one of the most treatable if caught early through preventive screenings like colonoscopies. Dr. Mangalore J. Subba Rao is a general surgeon at IU Health Starke Hospital. He says many people avoid the outpatinet procedure because they fear pain. He says patients are given IV sedation and often don’t realize the procedure is going on until it is finished.

The preparation required before the procedure is also a deterrent for some people. Subba Rao admits some of the bowel preps taste bad and are expensive but says he offers his patients a less costly, better tasting option.

Healthy adults without a family history of colon cancer should schedule their first procedure at age 50.

“Insurance companies expect you to get it done, because if you develop a cancer by not doing your colonoscopy identified late, that’s more expensive and lethal to the patient. So the standard of care all over the world is age 50.”

Subba Rao adds people with a family history of colon cancers should schedule their initial procedures much sooner. He notes most colon polyps can be removed during the procedure with no complications.