ROUTINE COLONOSCOPY DISCOVERS MALIGNANT CELLS

March 28, 2019

ROUTINE COLONOSCOPY DISCOVERS MALIGNANT CELLS

ThedaCare Patient Shares Importance of Screening

SHAWANO, Wis – Todd Zeinert knew he would need to have a colonoscopy sometime after he turned 50, especially after his wife, Lynn, became the endoscopy scheduling coordinator at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano.

“I knew she wasn’t going to give me much leeway, and I also knew I needed to have it done,” Todd said.

He first opted to have a fecal immunochemical test where one’s stool sample is tested for the presence of blood. In Todd’s case, the result was positive. That meant a colonoscopy was needed.

Todd followed through and had the colonoscopy last fall. During the procedure, Dr. Anna Gilbertson, a surgeon with ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano, discovered a mass in Todd’s colon that she was able to fully remove. It contained some malignant cells. As a follow-up, Todd will have another colonoscopy this fall. If nothing is found during that screening, another procedure is recommended in three to five years.

Todd believes everyone should follow the current recommendation to have a colonoscopy upon turning 50.

“It’s an easy procedure and my experience was very good,” Todd said. “No one should be afraid to have a colonoscopy. Frankly, it’s easier than having a crown put on a tooth, in my opinion. On the day of the procedure, the nursing staff was very kind and helpful. There’s nothing for anyone to fear.”

Todd said he suspected he might have an issue as eating certain foods would cause him to have to make “quick bathroom stops”. He noted that his mother has Crohn’s Disease and there are other digestive issues in his family history.

“That caused me to wonder if I had a problem,” he said. “My wife helped convince me I shouldn’t wait to have a screening.”

An electrician by trade, Todd said many of his co-workers are also following the recommendation to have a colonoscopy upon turning 50. 

“In fact one of my co-workers had the procedure right before me,” he said. “We all agree it’s an easy test. You fall asleep, you wake up and the procedure is over. It’s nothing but a little time.”

Todd said he tries to remain optimistic and is thankful for routine screenings.

“It’s important to stay positive and look forward, not back. If you look back, that’s where you’re going to go,” he said.  

At this time, Todd is looking forward to a clear report after his colonoscopy this fall.

This is article II of a III part series. You can find part I here and part II here.

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.