According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, in almost all cases, early diagnosis can lead to a complete cure.
So why do some people put off getting the life saving test? Most say, it's because they don't have any symptoms. Others say it's the unpleasant test that turns them away.
A local man is sounding the alarm when it comes to colon cancer, saying there's no excuse for putting off a test that could very well save your life.
Jack Prescott says it's not the most pleasant experience you'll ever have but it could be the most life saving one.
“A little over 2 and a half years ago, I had, during a routine colonoscopy screening. It was discovered that I had colon cancer. The next day I was operated on.”
Until he retired, Jack Prescott was the boss over at the Panama City Paper Mill. Before he left that job, one of his last requests of his employees was to get screened for colon cancer. That's because he's been there and survived.
"A colon resection which was successful, the cancer had not passed through the colon and therefore I didn't have to have chemotherapy or treatments further that that."
But he knows all too well how many people just don't take the time to go to the doctor. And if not caught early colon cancer can lead to death.
"There is absolutely no excuse for anybody not knowing they have colon cancer before it's advanced to the points that it has to be treated with radiation, chemotherapy and more drastic measures."
Prescott has made it his mission to get the word out and save as many lives as possible.
“I always had wonderful health all my life. I Sort of took things for granted. I guess this was a wake up call that maybe I ought to do this and get other people to do it too.
Even if you think you're okay and you don't have any symptoms or even a clue that anything is wrong-- this silent killer may be lurking.
"I have no family history, no indication at all and I can tell you some stories about people that I have recommended that they go and get this colonoscopy screening that are glad they did."
“I had one gentleman I worked with that went in to get a colonoscopy 8 months after I started harassing him about this. He had 4 cancerous polyps that were able to be removed during the colonoscopy."
Prescott has a message for those people who keep putting off making that appointment.
“Do yourself a favor and take care of your health. Because when you've lost your health you've lost everything. Do it for your family, your friends, just do it.”
Prescott went as far as having health professionals visit the paper mill and sign people up for the procedure.