CNOS welcomes Dr. Alex Sarkisian as a new member of CNOS’s specialty team, focusing on gastroenterology, hepatology and obesity disorders.

While the range of GI and digestive disorders is quite broad, Dr. Sarkisian places special emphasis on the importance of being screened for colon cancer – and shares his answers to some common questions from patients.

When should I be screened?

“It is now recommended to start at age 45 for most men and women who are at average risk for colon cancer,” says Dr. Sarkisian. “Individuals at a higher risk due to family history of colon cancer or other conditions should talk to their primary care doctor or ask for a referral to see a GI doctor to see if starting at a younger age is recommended.”

How common is colon cancer?
Dr. Sarkisian cites that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. However, six out of ten deaths would have been prevented if a routine screening colonoscopy had been performed at the recommended age.

How does a colonoscopy prevent colon cancer?
“A colonoscopy can identify small growths of tissue called polyps in the colon or rectum. A significant number of these polyps end up being pre-cancerous, and by removing them during the colonoscopy, we are preventing them from possibly growing into colon cancer,” says Dr. Sarkisian.

Wouldn’t I feel something, if there was a cancer growing in me?
“Not necessarily,” says Dr. Sarkisian. “Symptoms may not exist when a cancer is found early during a screening colonoscopy. When caught early on, colorectal cancers are more treatable and have a higher chance of being cured.”

Dr. Sarkisian and his staff at CNOS encourage patients to keep all their recommended screenings and regular wellness checkups.

“Doing so gives you your best opportunity at a longer and healthier life.”

Dr. Sarkisian’s clinic is located at the South Sioux City Riverview location (201 E 4th St. Suite 202, South Sioux City, Nebraska 68776) and is now accepting new patients.

For more information, contact Sarah Rol at or Dylan McClary at