#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 www.regionalgi.com/contact.

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.

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

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.

Lucas’ Story

Colon Cancer Awareness Month serves as a valuable platform for education, advocacy and remembrance. Thousands of families are affected by colorectal cancer annually — many live right here in Lancaster County. In 2009, Lucas E. Malmer, age 29, Ephrata, PA was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. After years of treatment, Lucas passed away last year. Lucas’ story encourages us to take command of our health. As the Malmer family mourns the loss of their son, they use his death to remind us of the importance of lifesaving colonoscopy screenings.

In his memory, the Malmer’s have started the Lucas E. Malmer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Money raised will be awarded to an Ephrata High School senior accepted into a technological school. This Saturday, the Malmer’s are hosting the First Annual Pain in the Butt 5k in Lucas’ honor.

Watch Lucas’ story below:

Colon Cancer Overview, Care and Prevention

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer affects more than 145,000 Americans annually, 50,000 of whom will die from the disease. If you are age 50 or older or have a family history of colorectal cancer, please speak to your doctor about a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a simple outpatient procedure that can prevent colon cancer from developing. There are many misconceptions about colonoscopies and preparation for the procedure. If you want to learn the truth about colonoscopies, how they save lives and need advice on how to prepare for your colonoscopy, visit our website at www.regionalgi.com. Here, you can read blogs from our experts and find a doctor who performs this life-saving procedure. Learn more at www.regionalgi.com.

Colon cancer is a malignant growth that arises from the lining of the colon or rectum. Most colon cancer arises slowly from the growth of a benign polyp. The majority of colon cancer occures sporadically. However, colon cancer can also be hereditary and arise from genetic abnormalities which are transmitted from a parent. The incidence of colon cancer increase with advancing age and is most commonly seen in people over age 50.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer depend on the location of the tumor and whether it is confided to the colon or has penetrated through the bowel wall. Right sided colon cancers typically cause chronic blood loss which may result in anemia. Left sided colon cancers may produce rectal bleeding or symptoms of bowel obstruction. Early stage colon cancer may cause no symptoms at all. Ideally, these early tumors should be detected by screening before symptoms arise.

For people with localized cancer, the optimal treatment is complete surgical removal of the affected section of colon. If the disease has spread beyond the wall of the colon, additional treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be necessary.

Scheduling a colonoscopy screening is easy. Meet with one of our board-certified GI specialists today. All of our physicians are well-trained and eager to assist you during all stages of diagnosis and treatment. Regional Gi values the digestive health of our patients. Please contact us today.


Regional Gi Colon Cancer Awareness Month Ribbons & 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 death in the U.S. However, the disease is often curable if detected early.

Regional Gi is pleased to offer Colon Cancer Awareness Month wristbands and ribbons 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 and tag Regional Gi on Facebook!

Ribbons and wristbands are available at Regional Gi’s Health Campus  and Oregon Pike Offices. Can’t visit us in-person? Please fill out the form below and we’d be happy to send you a ribbon, wristband or both!


Ribbons & Wristbands Request Form

Daniel Connell, Jr. MD

Preventing Colon Cancer: Know your risks and options

Preventing Colon Cancer: Know your risks and options | Originally posted on LGH Cancer Institute Blog here on 4/3/2014

Regional Gi gastroenterologist lancaster pa specialist doctor connell

Dr. Daniel Connell, Jr

If you’re between 50 and 75 years old, you’re either among the two-thirds of Americans who’ve been screened for colon cancer—or among the one third who have not. And that’s a screening you should not miss because detecting colon cancer early saves lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 23 million Americans—28 percent of people who should be screened—have never had a test. Another 7 million have been tested—but haven’t kept up to date.

Colon cancer is the second-leading cancer killer for men and women behind lung cancer. For nonsmokers, it’s the leading cancer killer, claiming about 50,000 lives a year.

If you’re at average risk, you should begin screening at age 50, earlier if you have a family history of the disease. There are several tests available, which your doctor may use alone, or in combination. They include:

Stool test. The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or the newer fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is recommended annually. You can take the stool sample yourself, using a kit. The inexpensive test identifies blood in the stool, which can be a sign of cancer. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates a screening with a single FIT detected 79 percent of colorectal cancers.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy. Your doctor uses a lighted tube to examine the rectum and part of the colon to check for and remove any abnormal growths for analysis. The test is recommended every five years in conjunction with home fecal tests done every three years.

Colonoscopy. Your doctor examines the inside of your colon with a lighted scope to find precancerous polyps early so they can be removed. The test is recommended every 10 years and finds more than 95 percent of colorectal cancers. You’ll need to prepare the day before by cleansing your colon, considered the most difficult part of the exam.

CT colonography. Known as “virtual colonoscpy,” this test is fairly new and uses a CT scanner to produce pictures of your colon and rectum from outside the body that a computer assembles into images capable of showing polyps and other abnormalities. Although the accuracy of virtual colonoscopy is similar to standard colonoscopy, the National Cancer Institute says it’s not yet known whether virtual colonoscopy can help reduce colorectal cancer deaths and more studies are needed.
Double-contrast barium enema. This test also visualizes the colon from outside the body via a series of X-ray images of the colon and rectum after you’ve had an enema with a barium solution to help outline the colon and rectum on the images. People who can’t undergo standard colonoscopy may be candidates for this test.

Don’t let your anxiety about being tested, particularly with colonoscopy, deter you. The CDC says about two of every three adults who have never been tested actually have a doctor and health insurance that could pay for the test. The federal government is also expanding insurance coverage of the recommended tests at no cost to the patient through the Affordable Care Act.

Work with your doctor to decide which test you should have. For example, colonoscopy may be the best option if you have a strong family history of colon cancer, an intestinal condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, or if you’ve had polyps removed in the past.

In the end, says the CDC, the best test is the one you get.