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About Us


April 14, 2017

MMH ENDOSCOPY TEAM-- L to R):Elaine McCann, RN; Tonya Belknap, LPN; Melinda Durant, RN; Clyde Leffler, Endoscopy Clerk; Cate Santrock, RN (front); Carol DeSilva, LPN; Dr. Luis Canales, Board Certified Gastroenterologist; and Val Skomsky, RN, Surgical Services Director; (Not pictured: Alexis Searles, RN.)
Colon Cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States affecting both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Early screening saves lives. 
Massena Memorial Hospital Endoscopy nurses provide a caring and sensitive environment for patients, who understandably, might be anxious to undergo procedures.  MMH Director of Surgical Services/CSR Val Skomsky, RN, pointed out recent patient surveys found nurses in the Endoscopy Unit have 100% satisfaction rate from patients. 
“Our nurses provide the best care. The nurses do a great job in reassuring the patients,” she said.  After the procedure the patients remark that the procedure was much easier than they anticipated. The preparation and anxiety build-up is the worst part of the situation, Skomsky noted. 
Colon cancer when caught early can be cured. In fact, deaths from colon cancer have dropped in recent decades due to preventive cancer screenings. “Prevention really does impact long-term health benefits. So you lower the risk of dying and morbidity associated with developing cancer. So routine and appropriately done colon screenings lower that burden,” Board Certified Gastroenterologist Dr. Luis Canales, M.D. said. 
“Here at MMH, patient satisfaction for Endoscopy is among the highest in the area. Patients come from other facilities to have their colonoscopies because of the nursing care provided by the Endoscopy staff,” Dr. Canales added.
Men and women over 50 years old should speak with their primary care physician or practitioner to discuss the proper screening for their situation. Some people with a family history of colon cancer, colon polyps or inflammatory bowel disease might be at higher risk for developing colon cancer. 
Not everyone needs an endoscopy procedure. Your doctor will determine the appropriate screening. Sometimes an exam by your doctor or lab work is the most appropriate way to be screened for your risk of colon cancer. 
Endoscopy procedures allow doctors using a small flexible tube with a camera attached to view a patient’s intestinal tract, along the lower or upper gastrointestinal tract. Tissue and any polyps can be removed and reviewed in the lab. Patients are sedated during the procedure. During a colonoscopy the doctor views the large intestines. An upper GI exam allows doctors to view a person’s esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the lower intestine.   
Patients receiving endoscopy services resume their normal work schedules the day after the procedure. Depending on a person’s family history and risk factors, some people go three, five or 10 years between colon cancer screenings. 
For more information or to schedule a colonoscopy, speak to your primary care physician. For more information about the MMH Endoscopy Center please call 315-769-4200.