Screening Colonoscopies Can Prevent Cancer

Luanne Force, M.D. is a colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information about colon cancer treatments and services click here or visit the UHealth Collective.


Sabrina Aten was in complete shock to learn she had colon cancer after her first colonoscopy.

“I just got the wind sucked out of me. I was scared,” says Sabrina.

She met with Luanne Force, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Anybody can really develop a colon cancer over their lifetime. A colon cancer is a growth inside the colon that has the ability to metastasize to other organs,” Dr. Force explains.

Dr. Force says more younger people are being diagnosed with colon cancer. That’s why experts are now recommending a screening colonoscopy starting at age 45, rather than 50, for both men and women.

“I can’t underestimate the importance of getting a screening colonoscopy, because there’s so many people that come to me with zero symptoms. And on their first screening colonoscopy, they have colon cancer. Even if we don’t find a colon cancer, we still find polyps, and polyps are what turn into cancers. So, we’re actually preventing you from getting a colon cancer with these screening colonoscopies,” says Dr. Force.

Sabrina’s tumor was caught early and removed by Dr. Force using a minimally invasive procedure.

“She saved my life, to be honest. I don’t know, I get emotional because it’s bringing it all back,” Sabrina says.

Sabrina was able to enjoy her daughter’s wedding and says it’s all due to Dr. Force and her team.

“I just thank and appreciate everybody at Sylvester, and especially Dr. Luanne Force, she’s the best,” says Sabrina.

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