For Homer Glen mom Jennifer Jeffries, the outpatient Silver Cross Endoscopy Center is the perfect fit for her family of five children, ages 16 to 22.
Jeffries, 50, a two-year colon cancer survivor, has a genetic condition known as Lynch Syndrome that puts her children at high risk for developing colon and other forms of cancer. Regular screening, beginning at age 20, is critical for early detection.
Two of Jeffries’ sons have already had colonoscopies at Silver Cross – one at the new center and one at the hospital. A third will have a screening colonoscopy when he comes home for Thanksgiving break.
Jeffries feels the new Silver Cross Endoscopy Center that opened on the hospital’s campus in July, "isn’t as overwhelming as the hospital setting." It's also easier for her elderly mother to access, she said in a news release from Silver Cross Hospital.
Located on the Silver Cross campus, just east of the hospital at 678 Cedar Crossing Drive, the center offers colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to diagnose and treat problems of the esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the small intestine.
It also features one procedure room now (with the ability to expand to three procedure rooms in the future), and nine pre-and post-procedure patient bays. That’s in addition to four at the Advanced Endoscopy Center on the second floor of the hospital.
According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S.
Yet, 90 percent of colon cancers can be cured when found and treated at an early stage, so regular screenings are important.
That’s why the American Cancer Society recommends that beginning at age 45, men and women should have a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Colonoscopy can catch cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and help prevent cancer by finding abnormal growths called polyps that can turn into cancer.
Thankfully for Jeffries, her cancer was caught at an earlier stage. Successful surgery at Silver Cross followed by regular CT scans and blood tests helped her recently celebrate two years as a cancer survivor.
For information, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or visit www.silvercross.org.
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of colon cancer may include
• A change in bowel habits that lasts longer than four weeks.
• Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
• Persistent abdominal discomfort or feeling bowel doesn't empty completely
• Weakness or fatigue
• Unexplained weight loss