Tag Archives: cancer

Better colonoscopy prep in the works

Image result for colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is by far the best way to detect and prevent digestive issues such as colon cancer.

Oh, the colonoscopy. Although it’s the most effective way to detect and thereby prevent colon cancer and other digestive issues, some people are still reluctant to commit to the procedure. Ask just about anyone who’s endured the quick and painless process, and they’ll tell you that the prep is the most difficult part.

Reports the Chicago Tribune: “Data suggest that about 40 percent of the people who should get a colonoscopy don’t, mostly because of the prep,” says Douglas Rex, a distinguished professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

A typical colonoscopy involves drinking lots and lots of not-so-tasty liquids followed by lots and lots of trips to the toilet. Nothing is going to change in the toilet department, but the liquids are getting a face lift.

Researchers are experimenting with flavored shakes and bars such as strawberry banana or coconut that have the same effect as the historically dreaded liquid.

“Those drinking the new products were twice as likely as those who used the standard prep solution to be satisfied and four times as likely to recommend it,” says the Tribune.

The products should be available to patients in about two years.

The entire goal of these new prep methods is to get more people to commit to a colonoscopy, as it’s undoubtedly the number one way to detect and prevent cancer, tumors, polyps and other intestinal abnormalities.

“The easier you make it for people, the more you can improve their adherence,” says Susan Czajkowski, chief of the health behaviors research branch of the National Cancer Institute.

“The perfect screen has no value if it isn’t used.”

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March Madness for Colon Cancer Awareness

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The staff of Troy Gastroenterology, Center for Digestive Health, showing their support for Colon Cancer Awareness Month by dressing in blue on March 3.

Every March, the Colon Cancer Alliance celebrates Colon Cancer Awareness month, to push for more support, research and recognition of the struggle the disease incurs.

We lose more than 50,000 Americans every year to colon cancer, with more and more young people turning up with the disease.

“Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States,” says the CCA.

The good news is, with early screening, detection and even prevention is possible. Most cases of colon cancer appear in folks over the age of 50, which is why the current recommendation for colonoscopy is also age 50. Even then, people with a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) are far more likely to develop the cancer than others. For those folks, your doctor might recommend starting your colonoscopy routine even earlier.

How can you help?

Get involved with Colon Cancer Awareness by making a donation. The Salah Foundation matched donations in 2016 to generate more than a quarter million dollars in extra revenue for research.

If you’d rather participate, the CCA hosts the Undy Run/Walk all over the country to raise funds and awareness.

The Never 2 Young campaign is also doing its best to raise awareness about the decreasing age of colon cancer’s victims.

“As the leading national colon cancer patient advocacy organization, we’re dedicated to bringing together the brightest minds to increase screening rates and survivorship,” says N2Y.

This month, show your support for fighters, survivors and family members of folks with colon cancer. Wear blue, join a local event, and donate money. Every little bit counts to get us to a stage of early detection and prevention.

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Colon cancer and exercise: The connection to longevity

Image result for older person exerciseEveryone knows that exercise is the one thing that we could all be getting more of. And even though it can be tough, especially in these cold winter months, now there’s even more of a reason to get moving.

A new study reveals that survivors of colon cancer have a better chance of survival if they engage in some exercise.

“Patients who engaged in at least five hours of non-vigorous physical activity a week had a 25% reduction in the hazard for survival,” says MedPage Today. “With four or more hours of weekly activity, the survival hazard improved by 20%.”

And it seems as though the length of exercise was more important than the vigor. Which is good news for folks who have a difficult time with cardio. Hitting five hours a week showed less progression of the disease and increased longevity.

An hour a day might seem a little steep if you’re just starting out. But you don’t have to jump right into the full schedule – you can work your way up. And, you can do 20-30 minutes at a time a couple times a day to help break it up.

Here are a few ideas to get going. Mix them up to keep things interesting.

  • Map out a walking trail around your office grounds or hallways, and take a break mid-morning and mid-afternoon to do a few laps.
  • If you have a dog, bundle up and get the both of you outside. Just make sure the sidewalks are clear.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible. If you work on a really high floor, get off the elevator three to four floors early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Set up one cleaning project a week, and set aside a half hour each night to work on it.
  • Try some simple yoga moves. Follow simple routines for beginners.
  • Find out what classes are offered at your local community center or school. Also look at your local gym or Y for an affordable weekly class.

While five hours is a great goal, if you know you won’t hit it, don’t set yourself up for failure. Aim to increase your activity level by one hour a week until you hit five.

And remember, “These findings suggest that it doesn’t take a lot of physical activity to improve outcomes,” says MedPage Today. “While exercise is by no means a substitute for chemotherapy, patients can experience a wide range of benefits from as little as 3o minutes of exercise a day.”

 

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September raises awareness for different cancers

Thyroid, prostate, blood, ovarian and childhood cancers are in the spotlight for awareness this month.

September raises awareness for several types of cancer.

The month of September can be a difficult one for many people. As the memory of September 11, 2001 lives on, this month has found a silver lining: Several initiatives to raise awareness for cancer.

As we mentioned last year, September is the month to focus on childhood, thyroid, ovarian, blood and prostate cancers, and what we can do to help.

Since detection, prevention and awareness is the name of our game, we thought we’d give you the run down on each initiative’s plans for this year.

Childhood Cancer

Almost 16,000 people under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. If you’d like to get involved, you can donate, arrange a corporate event, even have a pajama party in your community.

Find out more about how to help.

Thyroid Cancer

ThyCa tells us that just a simple action can help raise awareness of Thyroid Cancer, even adding an awareness mention in the signature of your email. They only ask one question: Have you had your neck checked?

Learn how you can get involved.

Ovarian Cancer

Approximately 22,000 women a year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. But, when detected early, the five-year survival rate is staggering (in a good way!). Look for their ads, billboards and information through their YouTube channel

Raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

Blood Cancers

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society does so much research to advance science for detection, prevention and treatment of blood cancers. Their goal this year is to raise $300,000 for the campaign.

Support blood cancer research.

Prostate Cancer

The second leading cause of cancer death in men is on the chopping block. With 29,000 men diagnosed every year, we can do more to get involved. They offer golf programs, home run challenges, plenty of ideas for fundraisers, and simpler forms of support.

See how you can help prevent prostate cancer.

No matter what cause is near to your heart, remember that prevention and early detection are the absolute best way to fight cancer.

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Minority Cancer Awareness: African Americans more likely to have colorectal cancer

National Minority Health Month and Minority Cancer Awareness Week are in April.

Some minorities have a higher rate of colon cancer in the U.S.

April is National Minority Health Month, and beginning April 10 is National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.

In the U.S., African Americans have the highest rates of colorectal cancer cases and mortality from the disease than any other group. Folks of Eastern European Jewish descent have the highest rates of colon cancer in the world.

The causes for these disparities isn’t exactly clear. The American Cancer Society posits that higher poverty levels among minority communities in the U.S. may be one reason.

“African Americans and Hispanics in the US have higher poverty rates than whites and are less likely to have health insurance, making it harder for them to get the care they need,” says ACS.

The organization is trying to raise awareness and lower the imbalance of rates through improving access to screening and treatment, as well as programs to quit smoking. Smokers are more likely to both develop and die from colon cancer.

The advocacy partner of the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Action Network, says that it’s working toward both prevention and scientific advancements.

“It is critical that our nation supports policies and programs that not only improve access to existing methods to prevent, detect and treat cancer, but also help continue making scientific advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment methods for all Americans,” says CAN.

The American Cancer Society is attempting to bridge the gap between American minorities and cancer rates. They’re constantly developing resources in other languages and pushing for awareness about the discrepancies in our population.

As always, it’s important to remember that while you can’t control certain factors, there are some things you can do to prevent colon cancer. Exercise, eating more veggies, quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol can all help contribute to a lower rate of colon cancer.

For more information on how to get involved and push for prevention, visit the American Cancer Society.

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Celebrate the survivor in your family!

National Cancer Survivors Day

On Sunday, June 7, we celebrate survivors and the people who got them there.

Sunday, June 7 is National Cancer Survivors Day. This day commemorates all the fighters and their support systems and recognizes their courage. Survivors Day “is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community,” says the website.

Now in its 28th year, National Cancer Survivors Day aims to support fundraisers and other events in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research. They offer a detailed, seven-step process to help you get your event off the ground. After you register your even with NCSD, they work with you to get sponsors, a location and pick a theme like “Casino Royale” or “A Day of Pampering.” The site can also help you land a keynote speaker to help gain publicity for your event.

A recent blog on the site explains this day of recognition.

We want everyone to share the message that there is life after cancer – and that’s something to celebrate – but we can still do more to lessen the burdens of cancer survivorship.

We salute you, survivors. Not just on this day of recognition, but every day. The courage and strength it takes to fight cancer is unparalleled. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.

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May is National Cancer Research Month

The American Association for Cancer Research recognizes May as Cancer Research Month.

May is National Cancer Research Month.

The American Association for Cancer Research recognizes May as National Cancer Research Month.

If you’re interested in helping, they encourage you to reach out to your legislators and ask for cancer research to be top priority.  “Federal funding for medical research continues to decline, threatening the future health of Americans,” says AACR’s page about National Cancer Research Month. “This is an important time to educate lawmakers about the importance of robust investment in the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.”

We’d love to hear your stories of survival and spirit. National Cancer Research Month has started the hashtag #RealHopeIs. They’re asking for survivors, supporters, family and friends to share their tales of hope along the journey of cancer.

Find out more on AACR’s Facebook page.

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April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness month!

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness month.

Esophageal cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects more than 15,000 people in the U.S. each year.

Esophageal cancer is a rare yet aggressive type of cancer. The Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association says that there are more than 15,000 cases each year in the U.S. The disease usually targets folks who are 50 and older, though there are more cases in younger adults occurring each year.

“Cancer of the esophagus can start anywhere along the length of the esophagus,” says the ECAA. “Each develops in a different kind of cell.” You can read more about the different types on the ECAA website. 

The most common type is squamous cell. The people who are most at risk for this type are heavy drinkers and smokers. This type affects the upper and middle parts of the esophagus.

Adenocarcinoma is a less-common type linked to acid reflux and obesity. This type starts in the lower part of the esophagus, usually at the point where it meets the stomach.

Throughout April, we’re going to talk to some of the doctors at Troy Gastro to get some insight into this rare but potentially fatal disease. If you have questions, email Media@TroyGastro.com.

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Colon Cancer Month continues: Resources for fighters

Colon Cancer Awareness month will wrap up, but our fight goes on!

Our fight will continue long after Colon Cancer Awareness Month ends.

Colon Cancer Awareness month 2015 is coming to a close, but the fight is far from over! We’re here to offer screenings, tests and other preventive methods to make sure all of our patients get the care you need.

Here are some great resources for more information and support for colon cancer survivors and fighters.

Colon Cancer Alliance

Find programs and events, news, garb and information if you’re newly diagnosed. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can learn how to become an advocate or get involved in community outreach, and even sign up for a run or walk.

Check out their Facebook page for regular updates.

Colon Cancer Month

Get more info about the famous Undy Run and live by the tagline: Screen it like you mean it!

Blue Star States

This site advocates for the continuation of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, your state’s governor has to officially recognize March for Colon Cancer Awareness. Here you can find statistics about the states, how to get involved and what you can do for your state to become a Blue Star State.

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Dress in Blue day to support Colon Cancer Awareness

The staff at Troy Gastro came together to support a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts: Colon Cancer Awareness. March 6, 2015 marked Dress in Blue day in support of colon cancer survivors, fighters, and those we’ve lost to the disease.

We believe that prevention is the most effective way to treat this prevalent cancer. “When you have colon cancer,” says Dr. Anezi Bakken MD MS, “it can cause no symptoms or signs initially.”

Here’s a look at some of our staff dressed in blue to support Colon Cancer Awareness 2015!

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