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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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AMH Digestive Health Center Fulfills Need of Alton Man Who Lost Family Member

David Henkhaus recently had his second colonoscopy at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Digestive Health Center. He’s glad he did, as the loss of a loved one served as a cautionary tale for him.

Henkhaus’ family member was resistant to having a colonoscopy and died from rectal cancer a few years ago. Henkhaus, 65, had his first colonoscopy in 2014 and his most recent one in 2020 with Dr. Ahmad Karadaghy.

“It was even easier the second time around,” Henkhaus said. “They saw a few things the first time so I had to go back in less than 10 years. Dr. Karadaghy removed a couple of polyps this time. The preparation for it is not that bad, and it’s very important to get this checked if you have a family history.” 

The usually routine maintenance of having a colonoscopy is a safeguard that should be remembered by all, especially now as March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is as much as 4.3 percent in the general population and higher if you have a family history of the disease. Colon cancer can be curable if detected early, as pre-cancerous lesions can be removed during a colonoscopy.

Henkhaus said he wishes his loved one would have had a colonoscopy.

Dr. Karadaghy and Dr. David Riedel are with BJC Medical Group Gastroenterology and perform colonoscopies at Alton Memorial. The Digestive Health Center is the area's most sophisticated diagnostic center for detecting health problems related to the digestive system, offering a full range of diagnostic tests to uncover stomach and intestinal disorders, and provide therapeutic procedures for your treatment.

In 2020, the AMH Digestive Health Center earned a Top Performer award from Professional Research Consultants, a national health care research leader. The Top Performer Award recognizes health care outpatient service lines, inpatient units, outpatient clinics, and physicians/providers that score at or above the 100th percentile compared to PRC’s national client database for the prior calendar year.

For more information, call the DHC at 618-463-7515, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karadaghy or Dr. Riedel, call 618-463-7874.  

Pictured above: David Henkhaus prepares some barbecue outside his Alton home. He stresses the importance of having a colonoscopy following the death of a loved one several years ago.

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