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:
- Colonoscopy – the gold standard and the most common screening exam
- Cologuard – home screening test
Read The Article
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.”
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!” Read The Article
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.
Matthew Eidem, MD
Q: What is a colonoscopy?
A: Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to directly image and examine the entire colon. It is used to evaluate various gastrointestinal conditions like colon cancer and GI symptoms like bleeding. The physician will use a flexible tube called a colonoscope to examine the colon while taking biopsies or removing polyps if needed during the procedure.
Q: Why is colonoscopy regarded as the gold standard for colon cancer screening exams?
A: Colonoscopy is the only colon cancer screening exam that allows the physician to view the entire colon and then both detect and remove polyps. This distinction makes colonoscopy the best colon cancer screening exam. Read The Article
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. Read The Article
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 Read The Article
“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 Read The Article
Since March is colon cancer awareness month, I wanted to take the opportunity to further promote awareness of this treatable and preventable cancer in Plano TX. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the U.S. More than 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer each year.
Why get screened for Colon Cancer in Plano TX?
Over the past 20 years the incidence of colon cancer has been declining due to increased awareness and increased screening. This cancer can be effectively treated if detected early and can even be prevented if precancerous polyps are removed before developing into cancers. The key to beating colon cancer is to get screened at the recommended age. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends getting screened at age 50 and re-screened every 10 years unless your doctor recommends otherwise (presence of polyps, family history of colon cancer, etc). While there are different tests to detect polyps, colonoscopy is the gold standard due to its ability to view the entire colon and both detect and remove polyps during the same procedure. For more detailed information on colonoscopy and the recommended screening guidelines, I encourage you to visit the colonoscopy page on my website. Read The Article
What is an Open Access Colonoscopy?
An Open Access Colonoscopy is a colonoscopy procedure that does not require the patient to have an office visit with their Plano, TX gastroenterologist prior to their procedure. The exchange of all needed pre-procedural information is done over the phone. This saves the patient both the time and the expense of an office visit. I offer this option in order to increase the participation rates for colon cancer screening. By increasing the number of people who are screened, we can further decrease the number of people affected by this preventable cancer. We are hopeful that by making this procedure as accessible and affordable as possible to qualifying patients, the participation rates in the Plano and Dallas TX areas will increase.
- Open Access Colonoscopy– Saves Time & Money
I encourage you to review my colonoscopy procedure page for more information on this potential life saving procedure. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the 2nd highest cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. By getting a screening exam of your colon at the appropriate time, you can prevent colorectal cancer. Read The Article
What are the best Quality Indicators for Colonoscopy in Plano, TX?
Patients often wonder how they know if their physician is appropriately trained and practices quality medicine. This information is often not available, is difficult to interpret, or is unreliable. Several studies have been done to help patient’s determine which measures of quality provide the best assessment of a physician’s skills and thoroughness during a colonoscopy.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, to be a good quality indicator, the indicator must have an evidence-based impact on outcome and must be both reliably and feasibly measured. The two best indicators that meet these criterions are: adenoma detection rate and the cecal withdrawal time. Read The Article