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2022 Colon Cancer Awareness Month

2022 Colon Cancer Awareness Month

“As March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, it is a great time to discuss the importance and success of colon cancer screening. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, but screening with colonoscopy decreases this risk by over 65%. Anyone over age 45 should schedule their screening colonoscopy and encourage their friends and family to do the same.”
– Matthew Eidem, MD

6 Ways to Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

1) Get a Colonoscopy at age 45

Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard exam to screen for and identify colon cancer & polyps (abnormal growths in the colon which can advance into cancers over time). The reason is that it is the only screening method that allows for the identification and removal of precancerous polyps in the same setting. Other screening exams can evaluate for the presence of large polyps, but they do not allow for the removal of polyps.

2) Get Moving

Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Studies suggest that more intense activity is needed to reduce colon cancer risk and that somewhere between 3.5 and 4 hours of vigorous exercise per week may be needed to optimize protection.

3) Rethink Your Proteins

Several studies have confirmed that diet plays a role in many colorectal cancers. Specifically, the amount of red meat, processed meats, sugar, and fried foods have been found to increase your risk of colon cancer. Conversely, eating more fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce colon cancer risk. Try and up your intake of produce!

4) Limit Alcohol Consumption

Studies show that alcohol increases your risk of developing polyps. The healthiest option is not to drink at all. But if you do, the American Cancer Society recommends no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

5) Stop Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is known to increase lung cancer risk. However, most people don’t realize that those who smoke for a long time are more likely than people who don’t smoke to develop and die from colon or rectal cancer.

6) Know Your Risks

Some people have an increased risk of developing colon cancer because of factors they can’t change, like a family history of colon cancer. Risk factors you can’t change include:

  • Racial & ethnic backgrounds
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Personal or family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Personal or family history inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Being aware of the above risk factors and if they apply to you can help you proactively lower your risk of colon cancer. Discussing these risks with your doctor will result in scheduling a screening at the appropriate age and making changes to your diet & lifestyle.

colon cancer screening begins at age 45

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines for 2022

The American Cancer Society’s current guidelines for a screening colonoscopy are:

  • Average-risk individuals should have their first colon cancer screening at age 45.
  • Individuals that have a family history of colon cancer or polyps will often have their first colonoscopy before age 45. Those in this category should discuss when to begin screening for colon cancer with their primary care doctor or gastroenterologist.

Colon Cancer Awareness Events – DFW 2022

Whether you have a personal connection to colon cancer or want to help raise awareness, the DFW area has some great events that you can participate in. I’ve provided basic information on each event below, along with a link to the event website.

National Dress Blue Day

  • Date: Friday, March 4, 2022
  • Event Info: click here
  • Great opportunity to increase awareness at the office or with friends & family!

Evan White’s Brews & Blue – Bar Crawl for Colon Cancer Awareness

  • Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
  • Location: Henderson Avenue (Dallas, TX)
  • Event Info: click here

*This is an adult event in Dallas that has raised over $50k since 2019 for colorectal cancer research

Get Your Rear in Gear

  • Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
  • Location: Trinity Park (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Event Info: click here

Colorectal Cancer 5k Walk-A-Thon

  • Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
  • Location: River Legacy Park (Arlington, TX)
  • Event Info: click here
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Colon Cancer Awareness Month – 2021 March

Colon Cancer Awareness Month – 2021 March

March is colon cancer awareness month. Each year my practice participates in promoting awareness for this treatable cancer by participating in local events and creating content that helps educate others on how to prevent and beat colon cancer.

As we’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to emphasize the importance of not putting off necessary health maintenance services like colon cancer screening or not seeking an evaluation for digestive symptoms. The key to beating this cancer is early detection. When detected in a localized stage (has not spread outside of colon or rectum), the 5-year survival rate is 91%.

2021 colon cancer awareness month w/ blue ribbon. colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable

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Colon Cancer: A Growing Problem in Young Adults

Colon Cancer: A Growing Problem in Young Adults

You may think of colon cancer as a disease that affects older adults. This is not always the case. There is a growing problem of colon cancer in young adults. The media recently shined a light on this problem after the death of actor Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer at age 43.

Colon cancer is a leading cause of death throughout the world. Young adults are not immune to this deadly cancer.

Throughout my career thus far, I have unfortunately diagnosed colorectal cancer in many young adults. Many of them had been having symptoms but were not sure what to make of them. It is important to shed light on this topic and get people thinking and talking about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. When colon cancer is diagnosed early, it can be beaten.

This article will discuss the increasing trend of colon cancer in young adults. I’ll first highlight colon cancer statistics and the potential causes of colon cancer in young adults. I’ll then explore how you can reduce your risk by modifying colon cancer risk factors. Lastly, I’ll discuss colon cancer symptoms, so you know when to see a gastroenterologist.
colon cancer is no longer a 50+ disease

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Colon Cancer Awareness Month – 2020 March

Colon Cancer Awareness Month – 2020 March

To help further promote colon cancer awareness month in the DFW area, my colleague Dr. Stuart Akerman and I have created an awareness video. In this video, we discuss how to best protect yourself from this cancer.

By watching the video you’ll learn when you should get screened for colon cancer, testing options, and a few recommendations from Plano gastroenterologists. Should you have any questions about colon cancer or your digestive health, please call my office at 972-867-0019 and we would be happy to help.

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/ev6AJ1sL6N4″ /]

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Is Cologuard a Good Alternative to Colonoscopy?

Is Cologuard a Good Alternative to Colonoscopy?

You probably don’t think about your colon that often. Unless you’re experiencing painful or embarrassing symptoms, such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea, it probably doesn’t cross your mind. But if you’re over the age of 45 it might be time to go and see your doctor about colon cancer screening – yes, even if you feel fine!

We use screening exams to look for evidence of disease in patients who show no symptoms of colon cancer – whereas we use diagnostic exams to evaluate patients already showing symptoms. If you’re dealing with a change in bowel movements, bleeding from the anus, blood in your stool, or a pain or lump in your abdomen, I recommend seeing your doctor as soon as possible for recommendations regarding diagnostic testing.

If you’re not experiencing such symptoms, screening is still important for your health. The earlier that colon cancer is detected, the better the chance of beating it. Also, by removing precancerous polyps, colon cancer can actually be prevented.

I’m going to talk you through two different colon screening options:

  1. Colonoscopy – the gold standard and the most common screening exam
  2. Cologuard – home screening test

cologuard or colonoscopy which screening test is best with blue colon cancer ribbon

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2019 Colon Cancer Awareness Month

2019 Colon Cancer Awareness Month

March is colorectal cancer awareness month… this year’s public awareness campaign is “Don’t Assume”. Its goal “is to challenge assumptions and misconceptions about colorectal cancer by dispelling myths, raising awareness, and connecting people across the country with information and support.”
2019 colon cancer awareness blue ribbon with text saying colon cancer isn't just a 50+ disease
In 2018, the American Cancer Society lowered their recommendation to begin colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 years of age for people of average risk. This change was due to the higher incidence of colon cancer being detected in younger adults. While this updated starting age has not been universally accepted, it does highlight the significance of getting screened.

“If you have questions about the age you should begin getting screened for colon cancer, please discuss this with your doctor. Early detection is the key to beating colon cancer!”
-Matthew Eidem

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Colonoscopy FAQs

Colonoscopy FAQs

Every March I like to participate in Colon Cancer Awareness month by writing an article on the importance of following the American College of Gastroenterology screening guidelines. This year I thought I would do something different by sharing a few colonoscopy FAQs to help dispel some of the misconceptions and educate on why it is best way to screen for colon cancer.

Early detection is the key to beating this cancer! If you know someone 50 years or older, make sure they know about the importance of colon cancer screening. Thank you in advance for helping to promote this awareness message and let me know if you have any questions related to colon cancer.

In health,
Matthew Eidem, MD

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9 Reasons To See A Gastroenterologist Immediately

9 Reasons To See A Gastroenterologist Immediately

You don’t have to look far to see the importance of gut health being discussed. It seems everywhere we turn someone is talking about the gut microbiome and how incredibly important it is for our well-being.

This is because your gut is the home of your immune system, over 40 trillion microorganisms, and is an indicator of your overall health. This complex system has been linked to numerous diseases, including autoimmune disease, diabetes, liver disease, cancers, heart disease, and of course, gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.

So, if you find yourself struggling with persistent gut related issues, it isn’t something you should ignore. Sometimes when you have a GI problem, it’s a red flag of an underlying cause or of health issues that could get worse if left untreated. Either way, don’t ignore warning signs, instead tackle them head on – you could end up saving yourself pain, time, and money down the road.

If you’ve never seen a gastroenterologist before but are struggling with digestive issues, you might wonder when it’s time to see a GI doctor. I’ve created a list of the top 9 reasons to see a gastroenterologist in Plano, TX area to help educate others on the most common symptoms and help lessen any apprehension towards seeing a GI doctor.

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2017 Colon Cancer Awareness

2017 Colon Cancer Awareness

The American Cancer Society reports that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. are not up-to-date with their colorectal cancer screening and that 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening.  I encourage everyone to join my team and colleagues at the Digestive Health Associates of Texas in helping to promote Colon Cancer Awareness this March. These statistics emphasize why creating more awareness for this type of cancer can SAVE LIVES!

Matthew Eidem, MD

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2016 Colon Cancer Awareness

2016 Colon Cancer Awareness

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month so there is no better time than now to spread the word on the importance of colon cancer screening.  This is a cancer that can be beat and often can be prevented with routine screening exams.  A colonoscopy is a painless procedure that can literally save your life. 

Matthew Eidem, MD

Colon Cancer Awareness Events in Plano, TX area

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