Tag Archives: get screened

More reasons to get a colonoscopy

Image result for get screenedEveryone over the age of 40 is aware of the “dreaded” colonoscopy. But really – we promise – it’s not that scary. Most folks say that the prep is the hardest part while the procedure is a breeze. If you’re still not convinced, having a colonoscopy is the single most effective way of detecting and preventing colon cancer, which is in the top three cancers in the United States. So just do it!

Here’s a bit more info about the procedure and why you should take the plunge.

Get screened if…

Most medical professionals agree that screening should start somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50 (check with your doctor to learn what they recommend), but if you have any symptoms, family history, or are of African descent, the sooner you’re screened, the better.

What are the symptoms?

If you’ve had any changes in your bowels, or experience regular diarrhea, constipation, or bleeding, you could be at a higher risk. Abdominal pain, weakness, weight loss and fatigue are also commonly associated with polyps and colon cancer.

Genetic testing

Most insurance companies will cover genetic testing to better determine your risk level. The Colon Cancer Alliance offers this super fast quiz to see where you stand.

Colonoscopy prep tips

Some medical professionals say that certain dietary tweaks, such as avoiding meat in the week before, can really help with your entire prep experience. Also chill the beverage to ease the flavor and use a straw to help it flow. And if you enjoy grape soda, don’t choose grape flavored prep – that could ruin your beloved pop after the procedure.

Still not convinced?

If the idea of a colonoscopy is just too much for you to handle, your doctor might be able to recommend other screening options. However, if you fall into the high-risk category, a colonoscopy is probably going to be your best line of defense.

The bottom line

Tell your doctor if anything has changed in your bowels – and don’t be embarrassed. Colon cancer is 100% preventable if you’re screened early and often.


Gut check: How’s your tummy?

Your tummy your health.

When you take steps toward a healthier lifestyle, your tummy will benefit.

Now that 2016 is off to a start, we wanted to check in on your digestive health. When you make a resolution to get healthy – drink more water, exercise more, eat better – that will definitely help any tummy troubles you might have.

Dairy Days

Dairy can be a culprit when you have stomach problems. More than half of adults deal with some degree of lactose intolerance. If you’re phasing out the dairy, both your waist line and your digestion will benefit.

Last year, we talked to Dr. Abadir about dairy and digestion. “Lactose,” says Dr. Abadir, “unlike other sugars like glucose, cannot be absorbed by our intestines in its original form.” Which can lead to all sorts of problems like gas, bloating and diarrhea. Cutting out dairy and finding your calcium from plant-based sources like broccoli, almonds and oranges, can lead to better digestion and possibly a few fewer pounds!

The Right Stuff

You really are what you eat. Getting the right nutrients through lots of plant-based sources of a variety of colors is so important. When we looked around for some recipes that ease digestion, we found some really common stuff like pears and salad can make a difference. Then we went on a hunt for some easy recipes that can help your tummy and came up with beans, blueberries and sweet potatoes. These foods don’t have to be complicated or made precisely like the recipes says. We give tips for each!

Then, there’s our favorite digestive food superstar, ginger. This knobby root has been used to ease stomach issues for centuries, and it’s especially great for folks who avoid medications or supplements. It’s versatile enough to put in soup, stir fry and dressing.

Screening Saves

Beyond doing your best to eat well and exercise, getting screened is the most important thing you can do. March is Colon Cancer Awareness each year, when the Colon Cancer Alliance pushes for people to get screened.

Colon cancer is common in both men and women, especially when you have family history. If you’re over 40, shoot for 2016 as your time for a screening.

Tell Me More

Do you have a tip or a trick that you do you do that really helps your digestion? Share it with us! We’d love to hear what really works for you.


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.


The fastest-growing cancer in the country: Esophageal

Esophageal Cancer Awareness month is April each year.

ECA is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S.

Cases of esophageal cancer are growing rapidly in the U.S. The disease can be easily disregarded as something less serious, since the risk factors and symptoms are so common.

Risk factors and symptoms

Dr. Anezi Bakken, MD MS in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, says that white men over 50 who drink, smoke or are overweight are at the highest risk. Chronic heartburn also increases the risk, since the acid produced can lead to erosion of your esophageal tissue.

The symptoms are easy to shrug off. Regular burping or belching, hoarseness, indigestion, chest pain, sore throat and even throat clearing can all be indicators of esophageal cancer.

People with GERD could actually end up with Barrett’s esophagus – a more serious condition that can eventually lead to esophageal cancer. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the lower esophagus has been damaged by repeated exposure to stomach acid.

If you’re chronically on PPIs for GERD, you may be at a higher risk.


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.


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.