Patient’s Story a Reminder That a Simple Colonoscopy Can Save Your Life

Every year it strikes more than 140,000 Americans and kills about 50,000. But early detection can make all the difference when it comes to colon cancer. Just ask Northwest Community Hospital patient Priscilla Harbut, who knows the importance of getting a colonoscopy.
“I am living proof that screenings work,” said the Grayslake resident. “A colonoscopy saved my life.”

During Priscilla’s colonoscopy, several polyps were discovered, and one had cancer. Fortunately, the cancer was contained within the polyp, so Priscilla did not need chemotherapy or radiation.

“When the polyp was removed, the cancer was removed,” she said. “I tell my friends and family – get a colonoscopy. It’s painless, and a very simple procedure. If there’s nothing there, you have peace of mind.”
More than 9,000 people chose NCH for their colonoscopy last year. It’s a quick procedure performed by an expert GI physician in a caring environment. NCH’s state-of-the-art GI Center is not just considered one of the best in Illinois, but a superior facility that ranks among the nation’s finest. The GI Center delivers advanced care of the colon, pancreas and other digestive disorders.


“If you are 50 or older, you are at higher risk for colon cancer or pre-cancerous polyps,” said Kathy Lamont, director of the GI Center. “A colonoscopy can detect the disease while it’s still treatable, and remove polyps to stop cancer before it starts.”

A healthy diet and active lifestyle can reduce your risk of colon cancer. Age and family history play a role as well. With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, take a free risk assessment to find out where you stand by visiting www.nch.org/colon. While you’re there, view the video of Priscilla’s story to hear her firsthand account.

Serving Chicago’s northwest suburbs since 1959, Northwest Community Hospital is a designated Primary Stroke Center and accredited Chest Pain Center. NCH includes the Busse Center for Specialty Medicine, Day Surgery Center, Occupational Health Services, Home Care, Mobile Dental Clinic, Wellness Center, Youth Center, five Immediate Care Centers and eight physician office locations. The 496-bed hospital in Arlington Heights serves 30,000 inpatients and 370,000 outpatients each year. NCH holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence.