CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Right now half of the people with colon cancer have no symptoms.
In Health Plus, a reminder about the power of a colonoscopy to save your life.
In 2007 Karla Peters was living in Kansas and having constant side aches.
"I had a sideache, yes, and they couldn't figure out what it was. And I just told them, you know, take everything. Take my appendix, take whatever you can," she said.
it took numerous trips to several doctors before she was told to have a colonoscopy.
The procedure uncovered five polyps and she was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 50.
Eight inches of her colon were removed and she went through chemotherapy.
Doctor Victor Mujica with Covenant Clinic says colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in this country but it's preventable with screenings.
"I believe the most interesting issue is that we can prevent most of these deaths. As a matter of fact, in the last decade in America we have decreased the incidence of colon cancer and we have decreased the number of deaths expected for this disease," he said.
Mujica says 50,000 Americans will die this year from colon cancer.
"Go for a colonoscopy. Get checked. If you have any questions, double it and go to another doctor," said Karla.
Now living in Parkersburg, Karla is colon cancer free.
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is partnering with Allen Memorial Hospital and other agencies to offer free colon screening kits.
If you are age 50 to 65, you can pick one up at Peoples Community Health Clinic on Franklin Street in Waterloo next Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 7pm.
Online reporter/News anchor: Tara Thomas