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Medical Professionals

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Medical Professionals

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March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month Written by: Jai Mirchandani, MD Gastroenterologists of Ocean County

What is a Cancer Screening?

A screening test is a recommended medical test to examine for precancerous lesions prior to the development of cancer. Examples of those kinds of tests include: Mammography to detect breast cancer; Pap Smears to detect cervical cancer and a Prostate Exam, which examines for early prostate cancer. Colonoscopy is a screening test to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. What is the colon and rectum? The colon is a 6 feet long tube, which absorbs excess water and salt into the blood, and converts waster into stool. The rectum is the end of the colon, where waste/stool os stored until it leaves the body during a bowel movement. What is a polyp and why are they important? A polyp is a growth out of the wall of the colon. Polyps are either benign (noncancerous), or pre-malignant (pre-cancerous). Polyps are important because certain polyps can grow large over time into colon cancer. Usually patients have NO SYMPTOMS, if they have a polyp. Polyps are caused by genetic and hereditary factors, as well as dietary and environmental factors.

What is a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy is a test where a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. Through this tube, a gastroenterologist can visualize the inside of a patient’s colon. Using a colonoscope the gastroenterologist can identify small polyps, and remove them internally. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. Patients are given sedation to make them comfortable throughout the entire procedure. The day before the procedure patients must drink a solution to clean their intestines prior to the procedure. If a patient’s colonoscopy is normal, they most likely will not need another procedure for 10 years. What happens to patients who develop Colorectal Cancer? Patients who develop colorectal cancer must undergo further treatments, including possible surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Ultimately they have a shorter life expectancy. What is the most important thing to know about Colorectal Cancer? The most important thing to know about colorectal cancer is that it is a common form of cancer, and all patients, including men and women are susceptible to developing colon cancer. Most types of colorectal cancer are preventable however, with appropriate screening. Colonoscopy is covered as a screening tool by Medicare and most insurances. Make sure to talk to your doctor to see if you should be screened for colon cancer.

Call to schedule your appointment at gastroenterologists of Ocean County.

How common is Colorectal Cancer, and do I have to worry about it? Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cause of Cancer in both men and women. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that colorectal cancer will be the second most common cause of cancer death in 2016. The lifetime probability of developing colorectal cancer is approximately 1 in 20 for both men and women, making it very common. What are some potential symptoms of Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms of Colorectal cancer include blood in the stool, anemia (low blood counts), changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain and weight loss. Often, however, patients have no symptoms at all.

Omar Tamini, MD Jill Collier, MD Edgar Bigornia, MD

What are risk factors for developing Colorectal Cancer? Family history and genetic factors are one of the biggest predisposing factors to the development of colorectal cancer. If you have a close family member who had either colorectal cancer or colon polyps, you are at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Environmental or dietary factors, such as diets high in red meats, alcohol or tobacco use can predispose patients to colorectal cancer. Also patients who are overweight or have advanced diabetes are also at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. What are protective factors for Colorectal Cancer? Diets high in fruits, vegetables and fiber are protective for colorectal cancer. Also, a diet high in calcium has been seen to be a protective for colon cancer as well. Exercise has been seen to be a protective factor as well to prevent colon cancer. Who should be screened for Colorectal Cancer? Any man or woman over the age of 50 years old should be screened for colorectal cancer. Patients with family members with a history of colorectal cancer, or colon polyps, as well as certain symptoms may need to be screened at an earlier age. How do patients get screened? A patient can get screened by stool tests to check for blood, X-ray or CT scan tests, as well as certain blood tests that can assess if patients are at risk for developing colorectal cancer. The best test for screening for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy, as this test can visualize pre-cancerous polyps, as well as remove these polyps before they have a chance to grow and become colorectal cancer.

Kenneth Glazier, MD Jai Mirchandani, MD Teresa Menadier, MD

• Colonoscopy and colon polyp removal • Colon cancer detection and screening • Rectal bleeding evaluation • Ulcer pain evaluation and treatment • Swallowing disorders

• Endoscopic treatment of hemorrhoids • Capsule Endoscopy • Breath testing • Esophageal and anorectal manometry

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Patient Testimonials

“Dr. Mirchandani and his staff were very professional and caring. They made me comfortable and less apprehensive.” - Joan, age 49, Whiting “I felt comfortable and safe! The warmth I felt from Dr. Mirchandani and his team left me feeling relieved. ‘A piece of cake!’ Excellent!” - Dortha, age 84, Toms River

A Division of Allied Digestive Health

“ The Nursing and Technical staff displayed extraordinary compassion and put me at ease from the moment I arrived. Since I have no memory of the procedure, I commend Dr.Mirchandani and the staff. Overall, I was extremely satisfied.” - Joe, age 46, Toms River

The County Woman Magazine www.TheCountyWoman.com County Woman Magazine

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Profile for The County Woman

Monmouth County Woman - March/April 2021  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...

Monmouth County Woman - March/April 2021  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...