Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: November, 2018

By Advanced Digestive Care
November 28, 2018
Category: Colon Cancer
Tags: colon cancer  

Understanding what causes colorectal cancer could instill healthy, preventive habits.

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both US men and women? Despite this, not many people are knowledgeable about colorectal cancer and its risk factors. Read below to find out when you should turn to our Clearwater, FL, gastroenterologists, Dr. Umesh Choudhry and Dr. Gourisankar Degala, for care.

The Causes of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer develops because of changes and damage to the DNA of healthy cells, which cause them to turn cancerous. Although it’s not entirely clear what causes colon cancer, there are certain risk factors that can predispose you to developing colon cancer during your lifetime. These risk factors include,

  • Certain genetic conditions (e.g. familial adenomatous polyposis)
  • A low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Older age
  • Being African American
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • A personal history with polyps
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes

If you have one or more risk factors it’s important that you talk to our Clearwater, FL, GI doctors about ways to keep yourself healthy and to reduce your risk, whenever possible.

Treating Colon Cancer

If colon cancer is detected, your doctor will need to determine how far along the cancer is before deciding the best treatment option. If you are dealing with early-stage colon cancer, removing the polyp during a simple colonoscopy may be all that’s needed. Sometimes, laparoscopic surgery will be necessary if the polyp cannot be removed during a colonoscopy.

Those with more invasive types of colon cancer may require surgery to remove the cancerous parts of the colon. In some cases, a patient may require an ostomy to help eliminate waste for the long term. Advanced colon cancer will require some form of chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted drug therapy to kill the cancer cells.

Preventing Colon Cancer

There are ways to prevent colon cancer. As you may have noticed, some of the risk factors are habits that can easily be changed. Some of those habits include,

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Eating a healthier diet
  • Losing excess weight
  • Leading a more active lifestyle

Another way to protect your colon health is through routine colonoscopies. Men and women who are 50 years old or older should start getting this screening right away.

Contact Us Today!

If you are experiencing any GI symptoms that aren’t going away then it’s a good time to turn to the medical professionals at Advanced Digestive Care in Clearwater, FL, for a consultation. We provide comprehensive gastrointestinal care to patients of all ages. Call us today at (727) 462-0444!