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In honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we've launched an online promotional quiz. Go to the NCH Facebook wall and click the "Can You Dig It?" tab on the left. Answer a question on '70s nostalgia to be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Far out, right?

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Top-of-the-line technology makes colonoscopy at NCH a clear choice

Assemble the population of Arlington Heights, multiply it by two, and then consider this sobering thought: That's just slightly more than the estimated number of new cases of colorectal cancer (143,460) in the United States this year.

The good news is that survival rates are on the rise, thanks to technological advances in colonoscopy screening. "Colonoscopy is clearly the most sensible test for picking up colon cancer," says Willis Parsons, MD, medical director of the Gastroenterology Center at Northwest Community Hospital. "More importantly, it picks up precancerous polyps."

In other words, colonoscopy can find cancer before it starts.

"Almost all colon cancers start with an abnormality. Over a period of years, the abnormality, or polyp, grows and develops into cancer," Dr. Parsons explains, which is why early detection is essential.

The right colonoscopy technology can make all the difference. And that's why NCH's Gastroenterology Center utilizes the most up-to-date technology available for colonoscopies. "At NCH, our advanced scopes with higher-resolution imaging allow us to detect and remove even the smallest polyp. It's like the difference between watching sports on high-definition vs. analog," Dr. Parsons says.

At NCH's Gastroenterology Center, northwest suburban residents find top-of-the-line technology close to home, while benefiting from these other advantages:

  • Personal touch. "Here there is a friendly, more homelike feel," says Dr. Parsons. "You're greeted with a warm gown and blanket. We emphasize patient comfort and privacy by providing a relaxing space for both you and your family."
  • Experience. When it comes to detecting cancer, experience counts. NCH performed more than 9,000 colonoscopies last year. "Our staff is very experienced," Dr. Parsons says.
  • Quality. Rushed colonoscopies yield lower polyp detection rates. Three quality measures are used to ensure a thorough screening, and each colonoscopy is timed to help ensure the most comprehensive detection. "The length of the exam is directly related to a higher likelihood of finding polyps," explains Dr. Parsons. NCH was the first hospital in Illinois to report quality measures in an easy-to-understand online quality report card.

"Our equipment is top of the line, we definitely have a friendlier atmosphere and patient privacy is put in high regard," Dr. Parsons says, noting that patients find everything at NCH's Gastroenterology Center that they would at a university hospital in Chicago.

And maybe even a bit more.

Phillip Ludkowski, MD

Willis Parsons, MD

Medical Director of the Gastroenterology Center at NCH.

  • Board Certified: Gastroenterology
  • Medical School: Vanderbilt University
  • Internship, Residency And Fellowship: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University

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Last Updated 04/10/2009