DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — One in 20 people at some point in their life will have colon cancer but taking preventable measures can help you stay healthy.

“The goal of course is to prevent and the way you prevent you ought to go screening and you detect pre-cancers or polyps and you remove those,” Gastroenterologist Dr. Sam Tarwater said.

He explained that the only way to take preventable measures against colon cancer is to have that colonoscopy to make sure all is normal.

As unpleasant as that may sound, he wants people to know that it’s better to be proactive than reactive.

“The procedure itself is usually very well tolerated,” he said. “The thing that people fuss about is always the prep. We change that recipe all the time, but the prep is a drag. It’s just, it’s difficult; it’s a lot to drink.”

“But compared to the risk or the consequence of cancer, there’s no comparison,” Tarwater added. “So the idea is if I prevent something bad, the idea that I’m going to make you drink a lot of laxatives on one day every 10 years probably doesn’t equate.”

Tarwater warned against waiting for symptoms because that means the disease is already in your system, but he did report numbers of colon cancer patients are decreasing because people are taking the initiative to get screened.

“It’s just see your doctor, colonoscopy for risk, for symptoms, and for appropriate age,” he finished.