March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
Below, Albin Abraham, MD, who practices at Granville Gastroenterology Associates provides information on colon care screening.
Colon cancers are the third most-common cause of cancers in the US with approximately 145,000 new cases of colorectal cancers diagnosed ever year. The good news is that the death rate has been dropping for decades, primarily due to colon cancer screenings.
Screenings should begin at the age of 45-50, even earlier if you have significant family history of colorectal cancer.
Colon cancer screening is performed primarily with a colonoscopy. This test evaluates the interior of the colon. With regular screening, most polyps and pre-cancerous lesions can be found and removed before they turn into cancer.
Other methods to decrease your risk for colon cancer include:
- Weight loss
- Limit your intake of red meat and processed meat
- Increase the fiber in your diet
- Stop smoking
In addition to performing a colonoscopy, you may want to visit a gastroenterologist if you suffer from abdominal pain, reflux, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea or constipation, bloody stools, or hemorrhoids.
Most gastroenterology patients do not need a referral, please contact Granville Gastroenterology Associates by calling 919-690-3499.