Posts for tag: 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
- Heavy alcohol consumption
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!
Listen to your body. Sometimes it’s trying to give you certain warning signs.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the US, so it’s important to be able to recognize changes in your health that could be red flags. Whether you have a family history of colorectal cancer or you are over the age of 50, you may be concerned about your chances of developing colorectal cancer. Our Clearwater, FL, gastroenterologists Dr. Umesh Choudhry and Dr. Gourisankar Degala are here to provide you with the insight you need to make the most informed decision about your health.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
These are some of the common symptoms and signs of colon cancer:
- Bowel changes that last several weeks (e.g. constipation; diarrhea)
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal cramping or pain
- Feeling as if bowels don’t empty fully
It’s important to keep in mind that most people don’t experience symptoms in the early stages of colon cancer and that when symptoms do manifest it’s often when cancer has progressed; however, it’s also important to recognize that these symptoms can also be indicative of other gastrointestinal conditions. So, the best way to handle the situation if you are dealing with any of these symptoms is to call our Clearwater, FL, GI doctor for an immediate evaluation.
What can I do to reduce my risk of colon cancer?
While exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and eating a balanced diet can all be great ways to keep you healthy and to reduce your chances of colon cancer, the best thing you can do for your health is to get a routine colonoscopy after you turn 50 years old (you may need to get a colonoscopy earlier in life if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer).
A colonoscopy will allow us to check the health of the digestive tract, to look for polyps (and remove them) and to also determine the cause of some of your symptoms. If your colonoscopy results come back fine then you won’t typically require another colonoscopy for 10 years. A colonoscopy is the simplest way to protect against colon cancer and it could just end up saving your life.
No matter if you are experiencing the symptoms above or you want to schedule your routine colonoscopy, turn to the GI experts at Advanced Digestive Care in Clearwater, FL, to provide you with the quality gastroenterological care you need.
How your gastroenterologist in Clearwater can help you fight colon cancer
Colon cancer is a common disease, and can be deadly. In fact, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. About 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and of those diagnosed, 50,000 people will die from it. Your gastroenterologists at Advanced Digestive Care in Clearwater, FL want to help you fight the insidious disease of colon cancer.
Your GI specialists want you to look for and be able to recognize common signs and symptoms of colon cancer, including:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic fatigue and weakness
- Pain and cramping in your abdomen
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Dark stools or a change in stool consistency
- Rectal bleeding
There are some lifestyle and genetic factors which can put you at a higher risk for developing colon cancer, such as:
- Eatting a low fiber, high fat diet
- Having a sedentary lifestyle or carry excess weight
- Using tobacco or consuming excess alcohol
- Having a family history of colon cancer
Colon cancer often starts as a precancerous growth in the lining of your colon, also called a polyp. If your GI specialists in Clearwater find a polyp, it can be removed easily before it becomes more serious or cancerous. That’s why early screening and diagnosis of colon cancer is so important. Regular colon cancer screenings can reduce your risk of colon cancer by as much as 90 percent!
If you are over 50 years old, you should have a colon cancer screening. Your GI specialists at Advanced Digestive Care offer a complete series of colon cancer screening procedures, including:
- A sigmoidoscopy, used to examine your lower colon and rectal lining
- A colonoscopy, used to examine your entire colon and rectal lining
- CT colonography, which uses CT technology to take scans of your bowel
- Stool tests, used to check for blood and abnormal DNA in your stool
- Stool tests and sigmoidoscopy, used in combination which may be more effective than each test performed separately
Why take a chance on developing colon cancer? When you schedule a colon cancer screening as part of your overall health maintenance, you are taking care of a very important step in your continuing health. If you are aged 50 years or older, it’s time to call your gastroenterologists at Advanced Digestive Care in Clearwater, FL. Call today and take care of yourself!