Skai Ventures said colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and now a facility on Oahu will help Hawaii residents fight the disease.
The Endoscopy Institute of Hawaii will help reduce the currently excessive waiting times to get a colonoscopy.
Sen. Daniel Inouye and supporters clipped their way into the new endoscopy institute on Saturday. Doctors said this center will help fight colon cancer a preventable, treatable and curable disease if detected early.
Dr. Mark Mugiishi said, "Sometimes people would wait six, seven, eight, months before they could have screening and that's a daunting time frame. Where people tend to say I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing that far in advance, so maybe I won't do it."
But the center will dramatically cut the wait time to about two weeks, and patients can call and set up appointments without going through a primary care doctor.
Physicians said people aren't getting checked because of the lack of access and lack of convenience.
"Less than half of all the patients over in the state of Hawaii over the age of 50 have had colon cancer screening of any type," said Dr. Hank Wuh.
In Hawaii, colon cancer screening for all patients over the age of 50 is covered by insurance.
Jackie Young with the American Cancer Society said, "This is it. You take a test, they find it, cut it out, you don't have to be a cancer survivor, you are a cancer thriver."
Doctors said the co-pay for the procedure is usually around a few hundred dollars. One in every 10 cancer-related deaths in Hawaii are due to colon cancer.