Comanche County Memorial Hospital has a clinic that specializes in digestive diseases, and it’s open 5 days a week.

A Gastroenterologist takes care of people who have abdominal problems.

“Our job is to find out what’s wrong with them based on their symptoms,” said gastroenterologist, Dr. Larry Bookman. “And the symptoms may be simple. They may be fatigue, blood in their stool, or blood in the toilet after a bowel movement. They may have lost weight or they may not have any symptoms.”

Dr. Bookman is one of the GI’s at the clinic. He says the most common issues he sees is constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain. He says a lot of patients come with a fear of colon cancer. He says screenings can be very helpful for them such as a colonoscopy..

“A screening is taking a patient who may not have any symptoms, and finding out if they are at risk for either colon polyps which are like mushrooms in the colon, and are the leading cause of colon cancer, or if they may already have a malignant growth,” said Dr. Bookman.

It’s recommended that a person start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 to 85. African Americans are at higher risk and might need to start screening before the age of 45. Dr. Bookman says the clinic in Lawton is a great thing for people in SWOK.

“The clinic is offering an outstanding GI service,” said Dr. Bookman. “Lawton has very good equipment. We do all the procedures that can be done here, here in Lawton. But we can do 90 percent of everything needing to be done, right here.”

Dr. Bookman says if you’ve experienced any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned, or have a question talk with your primary care physician for a referral.