Tag Archives: Colorectal Cancer Awareness

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

This year marks the 20th year that colorectal cancer patients, doctors, caregivers, and educators have recognized March as Colorectal Awareness Month. Dedicated by President Bill Clinton in 2000, this month aims to raise awareness about the facts of colorectal cancer, which affects more than 130,000 Americans each year.

Colorectal cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the colon or rectum repeatedly divide and multiply; doctors refer to the colon and rectum together as the colorectum or the large intestine.

Colorectal cancer develops slowly, usually over a period of 10 to 20 years when it is first a polyp. An adenoma polyp is the most common type of polyp, developing in about half of all people. Less than 10% of these polyps become cancerous, though.

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, many people with colorectal cancer were initially misdiagnosed or didn’t receive a proper diagnosis until the cancer was in its later stages. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of this cancer, especially since more than half of colorectal patients don’t have a family history of it.

Some of the common signs of colorectal cancer are:

  • Persistent abdominal cramps or bloated feeling
  • Rectal bleeding or dark stool
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • A change in bowel movements
  • Anemia

Many of the above symptoms are fairly common in people who don’t have colorectal cancer, but if you experience a number of these symptoms, or one symptom persists, consult your doctor.

If diagnosed with colorectal cancer, there are a number of treatment options available. If the cancer is contained to the polyp and has not metastasized (spread to other organs), the doctor may opt to surgically remove the polyp, which should eliminate the chance of the cancer spreading. Depending on whether cancer spread into the walls of the colon or into the lymph nodes, surgical removal coupled with chemotherapy may be recommended. Each case is different, and your doctor will advise you on the best treatment route.

Speak with a Specialist at GastroCare LI Today

GastroCare LI provides gastrointestinal screenings such as colonoscopies, lactose intolerance screenings, and capsule endoscopies. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced New York gastroenterologists by calling (516) 265-7049 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March has been officially designated Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to give sorely needed attention to a growing and deadly form of cancer in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the second deadliest type of cancer. More than 50,000 of the 140,000 Americans diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year die from the disease.

The good news is that colorectal cancer has a high rate of successful treatment if detected early. Approximately nine out of ten people who discover and treat colorectal cancer in its early stages are still alive five years later. Because of this, the American Cancer Society recommends getting regular colorectal screenings beginning at age 50. If you are 50 years or older, don’t let March pass by without getting screened. Call your doctor today to schedule a colorectal screening. If you live in the Long Island or Queens area, call the gastroenterologists of GastroCare LI at (516) 265-7049 for a potentially life-saving colorectal screening. We are experienced in treating colon cancer and committed to providing the highest quality care for all gastrointestinal issues.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Educating yourself about the second deadliest form of cancer is the first step to preventing it from destroying your health. Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum. When the cancer is in the early stages, it can be treated much more easily and effectively. Once cancer has spread beyond the colon or rectum, however, survival rates dramatically drop. Colorectal cancer affects both men and women and is correlated with age, increasing dramatically in the population aged 50 and older. Besides age, other risk factors for colorectal cancer include a family history of the disease, other colon problems such as Crohn’s disease or ulcers, and Type-2 diabetes.

What Can I Do to Prevent Colorectal Cancer?

The risk of colorectal cancer increases dramatically as you age. Over 90% of colorectal cancers are found in patients aged 50 and older. If you fit that age group, getting screened for colon cancer often is your best chance of detecting cancer early. Earlier detection can help prevent it from progressing into the deadly stages. Advances in the study of colorectal cancer have led to numerous screening options you can choose from, including the following:

  • Colonoscopy (recommended every ten years, beginning at age 50)
  • Virtual Colonoscopy (recommended every five years)
  • Stool DNA test (recommended every one or three years)
  • Sigmoidoscopy (recommended every five years)

Ask your doctor which screening is right for you. In addition to these screenings, you can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by taking overall good care of your body. The following are some health maintenance suggestions:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Being physically active
  • Avoiding smoking or drinking too much alcohol

Get a Screening This March

If you or a loved one is age 50 or older, consider making March the month you get screened for colorectal cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected, the greater the chances of survival are. Don’t put off getting a simple screening that could mean the difference between life and death. Call your doctor today.

Enlist the compassionate experience of Dr. Rieders, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders at GastroCare LI. They can help you determine which screening is best for you and help with any other gastrointestinal issues you may be struggling with. Contact us today at (516) 265-7049 or visit us online to schedule a colorectal screening. It just may be the most important decision you make this March.