A National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center


Patient Stories



Episode Seven: Colorectal Cancer

Episode Seven: Colorectal Cancer

Download Episode Seven to your computer or preferred device (mp3, 13.4 MB)
15 minutes. Originally aired on March 9, 2010.
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Colorectal cancer (cancer of the large intestine) is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the United States, after lung cancer. However, colorectal cancer is one of the few kinds of cancer that doctors can prevent. Moreover, early-stage colorectal cancer is almost completely curable.

In this episode, Dr. J. Marc Pipas, Medical Director of the Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Cancer Program at the Cancer Center, talks about colorectal cancer and colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a painless, easy, and safe test that can find growths, called polyps, that can lead to cancer. These polyps can even be removed during colonoscopy. Yet only about half of the people who are due for a colonoscopy get one.

Joining Dr. Pipas and host Jack Heath is a colorectal cancer survivor named Drew, of Waitsfield, Vermont. Drew was diagnosed four years ago during a colonoscopy, and is now cancer free. Drew tells his story, which began away from home with a symptom he shared with no one and decided to ignore unless it happened again. It did happen again, two weeks later.