March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a time to educate ourselves and promote awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening, prevention and treatment.
Last year, we had the opportunity to interview colon and rectal surgeons Dr. Mark Pidala and Dr. Thomas Newton of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, as well as patient Jill Schwertner, who shared the importance of colorectal cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy.
Watch the video interview below:
Interview originally filmed and published by Hello Woodlands in March 2021. See original post here.
Dr. Thomas Newton shared that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States when men and women are combined. However, regular screening can pick up colorectal cancer when it’s small, hasn’t spread, and may be easier to treat. Certain types of screening, such as colonoscopy, can also help find and remove precancerous growths called polyps before they turn into cancer.
The American Cancer Society guidelines for colorectal cancer screening recommend that people at average risk for colorectal cancer begin screening at age 45. are on the rise. ACS experts have determined that screening from age 45 could help save more lives.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a visual procedure that looks inside the rectum and colon to look for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. A colonoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the rectum into the colon. Polyps or tissue samples may be taken for biopsy. You will be sedated and will not be awake during this procedure.
Why is it recommended?
The purpose of a colonoscopy is threefold – diagnostic, preventive and interventional. A colonoscopy gets to the bottom of bothersome gastrointestinal symptoms, screens for colon disease, and removes precancerous lesions. If necessary, small biopsies can be taken and sent to pathology. These procedures:
- Colon cancer screening
- Look for the causes of bowel problems, such as pain, bleeding, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation
- Find and remove polyps
Find out why early detection is key, when to talk to a doctor, and schedule a colonoscopy at https://www.memorialhermann.org/services/colonoscopy
Special thanks to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center for allowing Hello Woodlands to film the video interview at the Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center located at Medical Plaza 1, 1120 Medical Plaza Dr #250, The Woodlands, TX 77380.