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Meryl Streep talks colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/31/2014 11:00:00 AM

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) supports the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) and is dedicated to the eradication of colorectal cancer. This initiative was co-founded by Katie Couric, Lilly Tartikoff, and the EIF in 2000, and serves to promote the importance of early medical screening, as well as ongoing cancer research. 

Listen to the newest Screen for Life public service announcement featuring award-winning actress, Meryl Streep. 

“There is so much in life we can’t control but here is something we can, colorectal cancer," said Meryl Streep. "It effects men and women and is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S.. Most of these cancers start as polyps and screening finds polyps. Take control. Do everything you can to prevent colon cancer."

Prevent colon cancer
The easiest and most effective way to prevent colon cancer is to be screened. To schedule a colonoscopy, call 800.777.7775.

Colon cancer prevention 101

Written by Community Health Network on 3/24/2014 1:00:00 PM

Roughly 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. But preventing the cancer is easy.

Community Physician Network gastroenterologist, Dr. Ninad Shah, shares easy ways you can help decrease your colon cancer risk.

Ask an expert

Have more questions about colorectal cancer? Submit your question onlineto have our experts give you an answer.

Colorectal cancer risk factors

Written by Community Health Network on 3/6/2014 7:00:00 AM

Researchers have found several risk factors that may increase a person's chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.

Younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, but the chances increase greatly after age 50. About 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.

Family history
As many as 1 in 5 people who develop colon cancer have other family members who have had it. People with a history of colorectal cancer in first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) are at increased risk. It is even higher if that relative was diagnosed with cancer when they were younger than 45, or if more than one first-degree relative is affected.

Family history of other colon problems can also increase risk. These problems include pre-cancerous polyps and hereditary syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome.

Personal health history
Having conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or type 2 diabetes, can also increase your risk of colon cancer. If you have any of these problems, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening.

A personal history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas) also means you are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is especially true if the polyps are large or if there are many of them.

Getting a colonoscopy screening is the best way to determine whether or not your polyps are cancerous.

Racial and ethnic background
African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reasons for this are not yet understood.

Lifestyle-related factors
Many lifestyle factors have been linked to the development of colorectal cancer. The links between diet, weight, exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. By making small lifestyle changes, your risk for colon cancer could be drastically reduced.

Tackling risk

Are you at risk for colon cancer? Ask our doctors right now, or call us at 800-777-7775 to schedule a preventive screening.

What is a colon polyp?

Written by Community Health Network on 3/5/2014 6:00:00 AM

A colon polyp is a small clump of cells that forms on the lining of the colon. Although most colon polyps are harmless, some become cancerous over time.

Anyone can develop colon polyps. But you're at higher risk if you're 50 or older, are overweight or a smoker, eat a high-fat, low-fiber diet, or have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer.

Usually colon polyps don't cause symptoms. That's why it is recommend that people receive regular colon screenings. Colon polyps that are found in the early stages can usually be removed safely and completely.

Tags: colorectal cancer , polyps | Posted in: Colon Cancer

Colonoscopy: What the doc is looking for

Written by Community Health Network on 3/4/2014 2:15:00 PM

Symptoms of colon cancer are not very obvious in early stages. That is why all men and women are encouraged to have a colonoscopy by age 50.

A colonoscopy is a screening of the colon (large intestine) that helps determine whether or not you might be at risk for developing colon cancer. During the procedure the doctor looks at the entire colon and rectum for abnormalities with a colonoscope, a lighted tube with a video camera on one end.

Here are three main things the doctor is looking for:

Pre-cancerous polyps
Also known as adenomatous polyps (adenomas), these can change into cancer.

Benign polyps
Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps are generally non-cancerous, but should be watched.

Abnormal cells in the lining of the colon or rectum, often found in people who have had ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

While this screening doesn’t sound appealing to most, it is no longer your father’s colonoscopy. They are much more comfortable today and the best way to check for colorectal cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Sedation and easy surgery preparation are just two of the ways that colonoscopies have changed.

Dr. Matthew Harrison, gastroenterologist at Community Endoscopy Center, recognizes that colonoscopies are not a popular screening amongst patients.

“Usually when I see a patient for the first time I try to keep things informal because I know they are under a little bit of stress,” said Dr. Harrison. “I understand that, I’ve been a patient myself. I think the most important thing that the patient realizes is that I do care about their health and the outcome of the colonoscopy.”

His goal is to get to know his patient and share with them the importance of the colonoscopy. continue reading ...

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