Ben Lazarus, DO

Dr. Lazarus on Colon Cancer: “We Can Actually Do Something to Change the Trajectory”

Colonoscopy can make all the difference.

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Join Dr. Ben Lazarus of Regional Gi as he talks with Brendon Leslie of Blue Ridge News 11 (Ephrata, PA) about the benefits of colonoscopy screening. The prep is much easier than many people think. And colonoscopy can help prevent the second leading cause of cancer deaths.


#2 Cause Of Cancer Deaths

It pays to know the facts on colon cancer—the #2 cause of cancer deaths.

FACT: Colon cancer is the #2 cause of cancer deaths—second only to lung cancer.

FACT: When colon cancer is caught early through a colonoscopy, it is one of the most treatable cancers with an excellent prognosis.

FACT: During a routine colonoscopy, pre-cancerous polyps can be removed before they become cancer. Early-stage cancers can often be completely removed before cancer has a chance to spread.

FACT: For people at average risk for colon cancer, the screening options endorsed by the American Cancer Society include colonoscopy every ten years starting at age 50.

FACT: Some people with certain risk factors might need to start screenings before age 50. Among these risk factors are:

  • Personal history of colon cancer
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • Family history of colon cancer

Make sure your primary care provider is fully informed about your personal and family medical history. That’s the best way to ensure that you get the right screenings at the right time.

Preventive care saves lives. If you’re 50+ or at higher risk of colon cancer and have never had a colonoscopy, talk to your primary care provider or contact Regional Gi at (717) 869-4600.

More Colon Cancer and Colonoscopy Resources

Colon Cancer: Why Should I Get Screened

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer related death in men and women combined in the United States.

So, why should you get screened? When colon cancer is detected early, it can be curable! Colon cancer screening saves lives. Through screening, polyps can be found and removed before they become cancer.

Still not convinced? 90% of new cases occur in people ages 50 and older. In fact, 50 is the commended age to start getting screened. Screening is the #1 most effective way to prevent colon cancer.

There are multiple methods used for screening, but the most common method is through a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a simple procedure in which your doctor detects polyps in the colon using a long tube with a light and camera.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Regional Gi’s board-certified specialists, please visit

5 Steps to Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer when it’s found early. Follow these 5 simple steps to help reduce your risk of colon cancer.

Get Screened
Screening is the most important, and most effective step you can take to prevent colon cancer. Procedures such as colonoscopies are easy methods to monitor and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Getting screened saves lives.

Know Your Family History
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you are immediately at an increased risk for the disease. Family history may have an effect on the age of screening, therefore knowing your history may increase your chance for early prevention.

Avoid Cigarettes & Alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol have both been known to increase cancer risk. Cigarette smoking over a long period of time, has been associated specifically with increased risk of colon cancer. Alcohol is best consumed in moderation. Nondrinkers and occasional drinkers are at a lower risk for colon cancer than those who regularly drink 3.5 drinks a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet plays a large role in your overall health. Foods that reduce the damage to your body that can lead to cancer are plant-based and high in fiber and nutrients. Vegetables, fruits and other plant foods help us maintain a healthy weight because many are low in calories. Reducing your intake of red and processed meats will also reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Exercise Daily
Studies have shown that an increase in exercise in either intensity, duration or frequency has reduced the risk of developing colon cancer in adults by 30 to 40 percent. Maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of developing polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. Spend 30 to 60 minutes of your day exercising.

For more information on colon cancer screening and prevention, or to schedule an appointment with Regional Gi, please contact us today.

Reminder to Order Your FREE Colon Cancer Awareness Ribbons & Wristbands

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! Thousands join together in support and advocacy for those affected by this preventable disease. Did you know that over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer arise each year? A simple colonoscopy procedure can detect colorectal cancer before it happens!

According to the Colon Cancer Alliance:

  • Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States
  • An estimated 136,830 will be diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States this year
  • 72% of all cases occur in the colon and 28% occur in the rectum
  • The five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90%

Regional Gi is proud to offer FREE Colon Cancer Awareness Month ribbons and wristbands! Show your support and order your FREE ribbon and wristband today!

Ribbons & Wristbands Request Form

For additional information or to schedule your colonoscopy procedure, please contact us.

Headshot of Dr. Cheshty

Colon Cancer Is Not Just a Man’s Disease: 7 Symptoms Every Woman Should Know

You may think colon cancer is mainly a man’s disease, but the truth is, almost as many women as men are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, each year in the U.S., about 64,000 women are diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer — it is a leading cause of cancer death. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women.

There are over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer a year and over 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. Over 50,000 people will die of CRC this year. The lifetime risk of developing CRC is about 1 in 20.

Know The Symptoms of Colon Cancer:
Although many times people show no signs of colon cancer, check with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, or a feeling that your bowel doesn’t completely empty)
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Blood (bright red or very dark) in your stool
  • Rectal discomfort
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps in your abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling very tired and weak

Can Colon Cancer be Prevented?
Yes! Colon cancer is one cancer that can easily be prevented. The reason? It almost always starts with a small growth called a polyp. When polyps are found early and removed during colonoscopy, colon cancer can be stopped before it even starts.

The very best way to find polyps is by having a colonoscopy. This procedure allows a gastroenterologist to both find and remove polyps at the same time. Most people should get their first colonoscopy at age 50. Those who have a family history of colorectal cancer or related cancers and those with certain health conditions need to be checked at an earlier age.

While colonoscopy is the gold standard in screening, other tests to detect colon cancer are available and include: stool-based testing, flexible sigmoidoscopy & barium enema, and CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy). Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.

Other Ways to Prevent Colon Cancer
Screening for and removing polyps is the best way to prevent colon cancer, but there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Stay physically active. Find creative ways to keep moving.
  • Eat a well balanced diet. Make fruits and vegetables a big part of your diet.
  • Eat whole grains rather than refined grain products.
  • Avoid processed meats
  • Limit red meat in your diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • If you use tobacco, quit. Better yet, never start.

Headshot of Dr. Cheshty

Sadiya Cheshty, MD, is a gastroenterologist with Regional Gi and the Digestive Health Director at the Women’s Specialty Center. Dr. Cheshty’s areas of special interest include women’s health, hepatitis, nutrition, and endoscopic ultrasound. Education: Medical School—State University of New York, Downstate School of Medicine; Residency—North Shore University Hospital-NYU School of Medicine; Fellowship—Loyola University Medical Center-Stritch School of Medicine.

Regional Gi Wears Blue For Dress in Blue Day

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! Dress in Blue Day is the colon cancer community’s day to unite for a future free of colon cancer! On March 4th, thousands join together in advocacy for those affected by this preventable disease.

Regional Gi’s staff proudly wore blue in support of Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Dress in Blue Day! Remember, a simple colonoscopy procedure can detect the disease before it becomes a major health issue! Those with a family history of colorectal cancer, related cancers or certain health conditions are encouraged to seek earlier screenings. Please share this valuable information with your family, friends and loved ones. Together we can defeat colorectal cancer!

Interested in learning more about Regional Gi’s board certified gastrointestinal specialists and services? Contact us today!

Colon Cancer Awareness Month Ribbons and Wristbands

Colon cancer affects over 145,000 Americans annually. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. However, the disease is often curable if detected early.

Regional Gi is pleased to offer Colon Cancer Awareness Month ribbons and wristbands in support and advocacy of those affected by the disease. Show your support and help spread the word! Take pictures, post online, share with friends!

Please fill out the form below and we’d be happy to send you a ribbon, wristband or both!

Ribbons & Wristbands Request Form

Adolescent Colorectal Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, incidence and mortality rates are increasing in the under 50 population (young-onset), while decreasing in those over 50. In fact, early screening is highly recommended for those with a family history of colorectal cancer. Commonly referred to as an “old man’s disease,” colorectal cancer pays no attention to age.

Are you at risk for colorectal cancer? Common symptoms include changes in bowel habits, chronic blood loss abdominal discomfort, weight loss, weakness or fatigue and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, please consult your health specialist immediately.

Remember, screening saves lives! For more information on young-onset colorectal cancer, please visit The Colon Cancer Alliance. Learn more about colorectal cancer risk factors and hear from colorectal cancer patients and survivors.

Regional Gi is located online at Please consult Regional Gi’s board-certified gastrointestinal specialists if you are concerned about your risk.

Dale Rosenberg, MD

Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives

Dale Rosenberg, MD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Many people who develop colorectal cancer have no symptoms during the early stages of the disease, which is why it is often discovered when it is too late. Fortunately, a simple screening colonoscopy can catch colorectal cancer easily and often stop it in its tracks.

The main advantage of colonoscopy is that we look for polyps, which can lead to cancer. “The vast majority of polyps don’t cause any symptoms, they just grow silently,” says Dr. Dale Rosenberg, a board certified internist, gastroenterologist and Medical Director at Regional Gi. “If someone is at average risk, the recommendation is that they start screening at age 50. If they have other colon cancer risk factors like a family history of polyps or colon cancer, they would start sooner, around age 40.” Due to evidence that AfricanAmericans develop colon cancer at a younger age, they should have their first screening around age 45. Once a patient has had a colonoscopy, they do not need to have another one for a decade, unless polyps are detected or they experience a change in bowel habits.

Colonoscopies are quick and painless; the procedure generally takes 20–30 minutes. Dr. Rosenberg assures patients that the only side effect they are likely to have when they get home is a bit of mild gas. “In Lancaster County, the vast majority of colonoscopies are administered with Propofol anesthesia and the patient is sleeping deeply and generally doesn’t feel anything.”

Dr. Rosenberg says less then 60 percent of people who should be screened in Lancaster County are screened regularly, but hopefully more people will be willing to schedule the procedure after learning how simple and essential it is. Medicare and most insurance companies will cover colonoscopies, which are offered at all area hospitals and two Regional Gi ambulatory surgery centers, one at the Lancaster General Health Campus, and the other at Regional Gi’s Brownstown endoscopy center.

Dr. Rosenberg and the other specialists at Regional Gi want to begin your New Year with this thought in mind, “20–30 minutes of screening could mean many more years of health and happiness.”

For more information regarding colon cancer screening, contact your primary care physician or call Regional Gi at (717) 869-4600.