Lots of disease detected by new equipment at Rocky

More than 600 colonoscopies have been performed at Rocky Mountain House Health Centre since October with new state-of-the art endoscopy equipment.

More than 600 colonoscopies have been performed at Rocky Mountain House Health Centre since October with new state-of-the art endoscopy equipment.

The scopes and camera diagnostic equipment allow the entire colon to be screened for colorectal cancer and other bowel disease. Previous equipment only enabled doctors to examine the stomach and lower larger bowel.

New gastroscopes were also purchased to view the esophagus and stomach for ulcers and other illnesses.

Site manager Shirley Hope said the new equipment delivers a better image and it means residents no longer have to go the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre to access the equipment.

She said travelling to Red Deer, particularly for disadvantaged residents on reserves west of Rocky, can certainly be one of the barriers to screening.

“We’re just happy to be able to offer that service here in Rocky Mountain House and are anxious to keep the program vibrant and available,” Hope said.

Screening for colon cancer is generally done for people over 50 with a positive stool test or those with a family history of bowel cancer. Urgent exams are also available for people whose symptoms indicate a health problem.

“Either way, we’re catching lots of disease.”

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Alberta.

Rocky Mountain House Health Care Donations Committee raised $175,000 to purchase the endoscopy equipment.

Teresa Smith, 57, of Rocky, had a colonoscopy last October after experiencing a period of rectal bleeding in September.

“I didn’t want to go, but I promised my daughter I would go to the doctor to check it out,” Smith said.

She was soon diagnosed with cancer and had surgery in Red Deer.

Now she’s cancer-free.

“I was very lucky to have early detection and I want other people to have the same opportunity.”

Smith said she probably would have put the test off if she had to go to Red Deer just because of the inconvenience of travelling. She always had good health and wasn’t experiencing any discomfort.

“I always associated pain with illness. But in this case, there was no pain.”

The Rocky optician hopes others will learn from her diagnosis.

“It can happen to all of us and a lot of time it’s when we least we expect,” Smith said.


Just Posted

Rejected Red Deer County cannabis production facility to go to appeal

County’s subdivision and development appeal board hearing set for May 2

Red Deer looks to be creative to attract business downtown

Co-op to close downtown store after 56 years

Central Alberta artist wins $25,000 for his hectare-sized caricature

Dean Foster says he’s thrilled to win the radio station contest

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Sri Lankan-Canadians mourn victims of terrorist attack in their homeland

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive… Continue reading

Residents along Saint John River told to remain on alert as floodwaters rise

FREDERICTON — People who live along New Brunswick’s Saint John River are… Continue reading

Prince Edward Island voters to cast verdict on new electoral system

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are expected to learn late Tuesday whether the cradle… Continue reading

Most Read