Preventing Colon Cancer

By Dr. Darrell Lee
Co-Founder and Medical Director of Pacific Endoscopy Center

When I started my medical practice in 1989, I was the only full-time gastroenterologist in Leeward Oahu. This specialty focuses on diseases of the digestive system. At that time, the need was so great that patients would often wait six months for an appointment.


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Dr. Darrell Lee

Now, as we observe National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I reflect on how much has changed. My goal from the start was to ensure that the community I’ve devoted my professional life to has the best gastroenterology services. And I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished that.

Dr. Yousif Arahim and I created the Pacific Endoscopy Center in 2008 with a vision: PEC would be the premiere endoscopy center in Hawaii.

We would provide the whole gamut of GI services, including colonoscopies for colon cancer screening. This is critical in the early detection of colon cancer, when it may be 90 percent curable.

We also wanted all of our physicians to be board-certified to help ensure quality.

We chose Pearl City as our location because it was accessible to Leeward Oahu, but we’ve found that patients from Windward Oahu and other islands are coming to us as well.

And we’ve grown: Dr. Arahim and I have been joined by Dr. Robert Wong and Dr. Jeong Kim, bringing to the Leeward side four full-time gastroenterologists.

Last year we performed 8,000 procedures, including many colonoscopies for colon cancer screening. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Instead of waiting six months for an appointment, patients referred to us can get an appointment in as little time as a week.

All of us at PEC are proud of the service we bring. Please let National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month be your reminder to take good care of your health.

If you’re over 50, ask your physician about getting screened.