Sulphur Springs, TX, March 13, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Colorectal cancer - often referred to as colon cancer - is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the U.S. More than 145,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year in the U.S. and almost 50,000 people die from it annually. Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with regular screening, and is curable with early detection. Screening tests are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.
Educational material on this subject is available at www.firstsurgerysuites.com/news-community. Discounts on colonoscopies with First Surgery Suites are available through the month of March.
Who is at risk?
Age, not gender, is the single most important risk factor for colorectal cancer. Both men and women should undergo testing for the disease starting at age 50. Some studies have also shown that African-Americans are more frequently diagnosed with colon cancer at a younger age, leading some experts to suggest that African-Americans should begin screening at age 45.
What are the symptoms?
In early stages colorectal cancer often will not produce any noticeable symptoms, and therefore when there are symptoms, the cancer may be at an advanced stage. Warning signs that may indicate colon cancer include:
• Blood in your stools.
• Narrower than normal stools.
• Unexplained abdominal pain.
• Unexplained change in bowel habits.
• Unexplained anemia or weight loss.
These symptoms may be caused by other benign diseases such as hemorrhoids, inflammation in the colon or irritable bowel syndrome. However, a person with any of these symptoms should be evaluated by a physician.
There are also certain behaviors that can increase risk for colorectal cancer, including a high fat diet, smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Some individuals with certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, may have a risk of developing colon cancer earlier than age 50 and should talk to their physician about regular colonoscopy screening starting at an age earlier than 50 years.
When colon cancer is caught early, most people are cured. However, when colon cancer is detected at later stages, the chances for cure are much lower.
Importance of Screening -
Currently there is no substitution for getting tested. A study by leading cancer groups found that colorectal cancer deaths have declined nearly five percent (2002-2004), in part due to prevention through screening and the removal of precancerous polyps. Colonoscopy is especially effective because it allows for the detection and removal of benign polyps or growths in the colon before cancer develops. This explains why colonoscopy is an invaluable tool that helps a doctor answer important questions about digestive health and prevent certain diseases like colon cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Screening tests covered by Medicare -
Not long ago, Medicare started paying for colonoscopy for people 65 and older. In the past, Medicare only covered the exam for people 65 and older at high risk. The American Cancer Society led the efforts to expand coverage of this test, and people eligible for Medicare now have more choices for screening tests. For people eligible for Medicare, this is what is covered:
• Stool blood test (FOBT or FIT) each year for those 50 and over.
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy every four years for those 50 and over at average risk.
• Colonoscopy every two years for those at high risk.
• Colonoscopy once every 10 years for those 65 and over at average risk.
• Barium enema with air contrast instead if a doctor believes that it is as good as or better than flex-sig or colonoscopy.
• Virtual colonoscopy is not covered by Medicare as an initial screen test.
The ASGE recommends talking to a doctor about screening options.
Discounted pricing for Colonoscopies in Sulphur Springs -
In support of Colon Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Boyd and Dr. Lundy are offering discounts on colonoscopies at the day surgery center in Sulphur Springs, which is a considerably more cost effective option than a traditional hospital setting. For more information about scheduling an appointment call (903) 885-7474 or (903) 592-4460. For information about the location of First Surgery Suites visit www.firstsurgerysuites.com.
About the Doctors -
Dr. Gary Boyd and Dr. David Lundy have more than 60 years of combined experience, and are both Texas educated Medical Doctors with Fellowship training and Board Certification in Internal Medicine and Gastroentorolgy. They have clinical practices in Sulphur Springs and Tyler, and in the past 5 years have seen over 5,000 patients in Sulphur Springs alone. Dr. Boyd is a native of Paris, where his parents Dorothy & Terrell, and brother Alan still live, and his uncle Arthur and grandfather Jacob “Pink” Boyd are known to many in Sulphur Springs.