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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Close up view of female hands holding blue ribbon for colon cancer awarenessMarch is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Many people don’t realize that colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer affecting people living in the United States. It’s also the second leading cause of cancer-related fatalities.

Colonoscopy: Who Should Have One?

Colon Cancer Awareness Month exists in order to raise awareness of this highly preventable disease that can be diagnosed and cured when caught in time through colorectal cancer screenings.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends that adults begin getting colonoscopy screenings starting at age 50 or even earlier for those with a family history of colon or rectal cancer, or polyps. This procedure is done in an outpatient setting. There is some home preparation involved and very little discomfort. The important aspect of this screening is that your gastroenterologist can identify and remove potentially harmful polyps or take biopsies if necessary during the procedure, making this screening a highly therapeutic and possibly life-saving event. If nothing of any consequence is found, your next colonoscopy is usually planned for 10 years from that screening.

Symptoms That May Indicate the Need for Colon Cancer Screening

If you are not yet 50 years old and have no family history of rectal- or colon-related cancer or polyps, you should still consider contacting your Georgia gastroenterologist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood found in bowel movements or coming from rectum
  • Abdominal pain that is unexplained
  • Weight loss that is unexplained

If you are nearing the age of 50, or if you have any symptoms worrying you, such as those listed above, you may contact the team at GI North. Their two physicians, Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano, are highly experienced gastroenterologists. Dr. Quijano speaks fluent Spanish, which is helpful for some patients for whom English is a second language. GI North accepts patients five days a week from all over the north Georgia area including Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton, Suwanee, Duluth, and Canton. Here at GI North, we take Colon Cancer Awareness Month seriously, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of our advanced technological care and treatment by scheduling your colonoscopy screening.

This article is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. Please make an appointment to see either Dr. Quijano or Dr. Cofrancesco at your earliest convenience. We diagnose and treat all aspects and conditions that are gastroenterology-related.

© 2017 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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