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Tanner News

Tanner’s Direct-access Makes Scheduling a Colonoscopy Easier

With direct-access colonoscopy, Tanner Health System has made it easier for patients to schedule a colonoscopy screening — one of the most effective procedures in catching and preventing colorectal cancer.

Patients who are eligible for a direct-access colonoscopy can save time by skipping the pre-procedure doctor’s office visit and directly scheduling their colonoscopy with one call.

“The direct-access colonoscopy service offers an easier way to schedule a colonoscopy by eliminating the need for some patients to meet with a gastroenterologist before their colonoscopy,” said John Arledge, MD, a gastroenterology specialist with West Georgia Gastroenterology Associates and a member of the patient care team at Tanner.

The pre-procedure doctor’s visit is usually a consultation appointment where the patient receives a medical examination and the doctor reviews their medical records to check for any risk factors.Many patients may qualify to skip this appointment, including those 50 and older who are in good health and have no family history of colorectal cancer.

To schedule an appointment, a patient calls Tanner’s direct-access colonoscopy helpline. Once they respond to a few health screening questions and are approved, they simply schedule an appointment and come in on the day of their colonoscopy — without an initial doctor’s office visit.

“The direct-access colonoscopy makes the screening more convenient for patients who are taking a very important step in helping to protect themselves against one of the deadliest forms of cancer,” said Dr. Arledge.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women in the United States. It kills more than 50,000 people every year, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that this year alone nearly 150,000 cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed across the U.S.

However, the ACS reports that the death rate from colorectal cancer has gradually decreased in the last decade, due to expanded access to early screening and life-saving procedures like colonoscopy.A colonoscopy screening is highly effective in detecting colon cancer in its earliest stages, when it’s smaller and more treatable. It even enables doctors to remove abnormal growths and pre-cancerous polyps found during the exam, allowing them to eliminate cancer before it develops.

To schedule a direct-access colonoscopy at Tanner, call 1-833-262-6793.

Learn more about colorectal cancer and direct-access colonoscopy at tanner.org/direct-access.