Sugar Land, TX -“What isn’t OK is letting that discomfort prevent you from getting screened for colorectal cancer. Embarrassment is trivial when you compare it to the possibility of having colorectal cancer,” says Nasrullah Manji, M.D., board certified gastroenterologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
“Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can not only be detected in its early stages by screening, but can actually be prevented,” says Swarna Balasubramaniam, M.D., board certified colorectal surgeon on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “These cancers almost always develop from polyps in the colon or rectum. With many of the screening tests, polyps can be found and removed before they become cancerous.”
The ACS and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend colorectal cancer screenings for men and women beginning at age 50. Certain people should begin screening earlier, and may need more frequent tests. Talk to your doctor about a screening schedule that is right for you.
“The exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known,” says Dr. Balasubramaniam. “However, certain factors increase the risk of developing the disease.” According to the National Cancer Institute, they include:
- Age. Most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50.
- Polyps (abnormal growths that protrude from the inner wall of the colon or rectum). Most polyps are noncancerous, but the majority of colorectal cancers develop in polyps.
- Personal history of colorectal cancer. Women who have had ovarian, uterine or breast cancer also have a higher risk.
- Family history of colorectal cancer.
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Diet. Eating a lot of red and processed meats and not many whole grains, fruits and vegetables may increase risk.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
“Although you hear people say they’re ‘dying of embarrassment,’ in reality, it simply doesn’t happen,” says Dr. Manji. So if you’re embarrassed to talk to your doctor about colorectal cancer screening, do it anyway; you’ll get over it. The same may not be true of cancer. To schedule a screening or consultation with Dr. Balasubramaniam or Dr. Manji, call 281-274-7500.
FREE SEMINAR & SCREENING
Join us for a free Colorectal Cancer Awareness Seminar presented by Dr. Swarna Balasubramaniam and Dr. Nasrullah Manji. Attendees will receive a free colorectal screening kit to take home. March 28, 6:30 p.m. at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Conference Center.
Call 281-274-7500 or email SLRSVP@tmhs.org to reserve a seat.