General surgeon Paul Teget, DO, realizes patients may be a bit apprehensive before a colonoscopy. But he also knows most patients acknowledge after the procedure that it wasn’t so bad after all.
Dr. Teget says that now is a good time to learn about the cancer-screening procedure because March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colonoscopies are important screening tests for cancer prevention and early detection.
Dr. Teget and his colleague, general surgeon Jerod Grove, MD, perform colonoscopies and other procedures at The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus. Their specialty office is on the hospital’s second floor.
“The worst part of a colonoscopy is the prep, which involves consuming a mixture of MiraLAX® and Gatorade,” Dr. Teget said. “However, the next day you have the most awesome nap. Most important, a colonoscopy is the best way to decrease the chance of colon cancer.
“Colonoscopies help prevent colon cancer because polyps are removed during the procedure before they can become cancerous,” he explained. “Early detection is important for all cancers, but for colon cancer, survival rates are dramatically improved.”
The 5-year survival rate is 80-90% when caught early. If cancer metastasizes – or spreads – and gets to the liver, that number falls to 30%. This is why early detection is crucial, the surgeon noted.
Colon cancer symptoms include rectal bleeding, flat or pencil-like stools and constipation. The biggest risk factor is family history of the disease. “If you haven’t had a colonoscopy by the time you’re older than 45, there could be an undetected cancer,” Dr. Teget said.
In addition to colonoscopies, Dr. Teget and Dr. Grove provide upper endoscopies and hernia repair, as well as gallbladder and skin cancer surgeries at Great Bend Campus.
“We collaborate with doctors in a number of specialties, including obstetrics-gynecology, urology, orthopedics and oncology,” Dr. Teget said. “Our goal is to provide Great Bend-area residents with access to healthcare close to home. Patients are pleased they don’t have to travel to Hays, Wichita or Kansas City.”
Dr. Grove said that “if the situation calls for the next level of care, we refer our patients to a specialist. Patients can be assured we handle these situations quickly and efficiently. As part of The University of Kansas Health System, we are able to provide seamless care.
“We have access to top-of-the-line specialists and treatments across the health system,” Dr. Grove continued. “While many procedures can be performed locally, patients can rest assured they will receive the best care at our other locations too.”
Dr. Teget earned his medical degree at Kirksville (Missouri) College of Osteopathic Medicine and performed his general surgery residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Dr. Grove graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He also completed his internship and residency there.
To learn more or request an appointment, call 620-792-8833.