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Dr. Drew GunnellsUAB Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery Assistant Professor Drew J. Gunnells, Jr., M.D., was recently featured on UAB’s MedCast Podcast with Division of Gastroenterology Associate Professor Shajan Peter, M.D., to discuss the future of colorectal cancer and screening techniques.

In the podcast episode, Gunnells reminds listeners that the current guidelines for colon cancer screening now reflect a suggested first screening at age 45, instead of 50.

“The same principles of people that need to get screened earlier still apply,” adds Gunnells. “Some need to be screened even younger than 45 … if someone [has a] high risk [factor].”

Gunnells also noted in the discussion that the UAB-Cooper Green partnership allows Jefferson County residents who meet certain criteria to receive free colonoscopies.

For those who may be hesitant about the colonoscopy process, Gunnells adds that the procedure is one of the few ways that can actually detect and prevent colon cancer through the detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps.

Recent technological advancements utilizing artificial intelligence can detect polyps that are not visible through standard examination measures – preventing later complications and additional procedures.

To listen to the full episode, visit the UAB MedCast website.