Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon and rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States after lung cancer. In honor of March, Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Horizon Family Medical Group, has initiated a campaign to encourage everyone 50 and over (45 for African Americans) to have a colonoscopy . “This is one form of cancer that can be treated and potentially cured during this diagnostic test,” remarks Gastroenterologist Dr. Alan Plummer, one of the specialists at Horizon Family Medical Group’s new Endosuite near the Orange County Fairgrounds in the Town of Walkill.
Horizon Family Medical Group’s awareness campaign will include an Open House at the Endosuite. Visitors are invited to see the offices, hear about the procedure, ask questions and hopefully make an appointment. According to Plummer, the Horizon Family Medical Group’s Endosuite was developed to make the procedure as efficient and comfortable as possible.
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that approximately 150,000 new cases of colon cancer were detected in the U.S. last year and over 50,000 Americans died from the condition. Approximately one American life is lost to colon cancer every ten minutes. “These statistics are especially alarming because colorectal cancer is more than 90% preventable with early screening,” remarks Dr. Lance Siegel, another in the group of specialists performing these screenings at the Endosuite. “The key is catching it early but, unfortunately, less than 50% of the screening age population is getting screened,” he adds.
Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms until the disease has progressed beyond its earliest stages. Some potential signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
• A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
• A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that doesn't go away after doing so
• Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
• Cramping or stomach pain
• Weakness and tiredness
Most colorectal cancers begin as a polyp, which is a tissue growth that starts in the lining of the colon or rectum. During a colonoscopy, doctors can identify and removing a polyp early in its development may prevent it from becoming cancerous.
Harry Smith Colonoscopy Results
On the lighter side - Homer's Colonoscopy