"Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith and "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric are seen at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Monahan Center on March 10, 2010. Smith had a colonoscopy live on the broadcast to raise awareness for colon cancer and the importance of screening for the disease.
The Monahan Center is named for Couric's late husband, Jay Monahan, who died at age 42 after battling colon cancer. Colon cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. with more than 50,000 deaths each year.
Couric established the Monahan Center in her husband's honor to help families deal with colon cancer prevention, screening, treatment and support. She famously experienced a filmed colonoscopy in 2000, after which researchers documented a 20 percent increase in the number of colonoscopies and dubbed it "The Couric Effect."
Dr. Mark Pochapin, director of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, performs a colonoscopy on Smith while the "Early Show" co-anchor watches the procedure. Dr. Pochapin said Smith weathered the screening well and that his colon was healthy.
Dr. Mark Pochapin, director of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health -- where Smith received the screening -- explained on "The Early Show" how a colonoscopy is done. Before the screening, patients must clean out the colon. Then, doctors use a flexible camera called a colonoscope, a long, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter, to view the lining of the colon. If necessary during a colonoscopy, small amounts of tissue called polyps can be removed for a biopsy analysis and may be identified and removed entirely.