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Colon cancer isn’t stopping for COVID-19.

Don’t put off that regularly scheduled colonoscopy, especially if you’re over 45 or in a high-risk category. It could reduce your chances of developing colon cancer by up to 90%. To ensure you can safely get the preventive care you need right now, we’re following CDC guidelines for hygiene, infection control and social distancing. Learn more about our COVID-19 response.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths. Early colorectal cancer usually has no symptoms. Warning signs typically occur with more advanced disease and may include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits or cramping pain in the abdomen. You might be at higher risk if you:

  • Are over age 45
  • Are African American or of Eastern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) descent
  • Have a personal history of colorectal polyps, previously treated colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Have a personal history of radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer
  • Have type 2 diabetes, are obese or are physically inactive
  • Eat a diet that’s high in red or processed meat and/or low in calcium, fruits, vegetables and whole-grain fiber
  • Are a smoker or drink alcohol frequently
Source: American Cancer Society

Many people don’t realize that colorectal cancer is highly preventable. The American Cancer Society recommends colonoscopy screenings beginning at age 45 for both men and women. Unlike other cancer screenings that can only detect a problem, a colonoscopy could prevent colorectal cancer by removing precancerous polyps during the exam. Removal of polyps prevents up to 90% of colorectal cancer and, with appropriate follow-up, the chance of death from colorectal cancer is further reduced.

Note: While cancer screenings are covered by most insurance plans, please check with your insurance carrier about your coverage for this screening.

Schedule a colonoscopy at least every 10 years or as recommended by your physician.

Colonoscopies have long been considered the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening and detection. Because it lets doctors see the entire colon, it’s the best way to detect and remove polyps—helping prevent colorectal cancer.

Both our hospital GI Center and Endoscopy Center in Arlington Heights use state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and high-definition imaging. Because of this, our detection rate for polyps is 65 percent, well above the national benchmark of 25 percent.

Our facilities are designed for efficiency and patient privacy. The average time patients spend registering, undergoing and recovering from a colonoscopy at our facilities is 2 ½ hours.

Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location and if the cancer has spread. The three primary treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer, usually for cancer that has not spread. Chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus radiation is given before or after surgery for patients whose cancer has spread beyond the colon. Regular follow-up exams and blood tests may be recommended. We offer advanced treatment for colorectal cancer, including:

Da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System
A state-of-the-art robotic technology that translates the surgeon’s hand motions into precise movements of the tiny surgical instruments inside the patient’s body.

A surgical procedure that removes parts of the colon to eliminate areas affected by cancer.

A series of drugs that can kill cancer cells are taken intravenously or in a pill form.

Targeted drug therapy
A special type of chemotherapy that takes advantage of differences between normal cells and cancer cells.

A treatment that activates or suppresses the immune system to elicit or amplify a response that can help fight cancer.

Radiation therapy
Halcyon, a new radiation therapy delivery system that kills cancer cells with a highly targeted treatment, offers improved quality, speed, accuracy and comfort for patients.


We performed more than 13,000 colonoscopies last year. Our world-class care has earned us several accolades. You can trust our nationally recognized GI experts to deliver industry-leading care when you need it most. 


NCH GI Center
NCH GI Center

880 W. Central Road

Floor 2

Arlington Heights, IL 60005


X.X mi

Northwest Endoscopy Center
Northwest Endoscopy Center

1415 South Arlington Heights Road

Arlington Heights, IL 60005


X.X mi

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