SUNSET PARK - Colon cancer is a potentially fatal disease but doctors say it's possible to prevent it with a minor surgical procedure.

Bensonhurst resident Margaret D'agosto told News 12 that she underwent a routine colonoscopy two years ago and when she awoke from the procedure, doctors told her that they removed pre-cancerous polyps from her colon.

Doctors at NYU Lutheran hospital in Sunset Park stress the importance of screening for colon cancer after age 50. They say there's a high mortality rate if diagnosed with the disease.

"It saves lives ... it really, really does," says D'agosto.

Doctors say that when they perform the screenings on patients with cancer or precancerous cells, they treat the area at the same time.

Dr. Joseph Ravenell, of the American Cancer Society, says a new health campaign is trying to encourage people to go to the doctor for early screenings.

The campaign wants 80 percent of adults age 50 and older to be regularly screened for colon cancer by 2018.