As we prepare for spring, Dr. Mark Soliman, chief of colorectal surgery for AdventHealth’s Digestive Health and Surgery Institute, advises men and women to get screened for colorectal cancer.
During a recent appearance on Fox 35 Orlando Healthwatch to mark March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Soliman emphasized a sense of urgency for screenings as a key weapon to help stave off the development of colorectal cancer. Registrations are available online at GetScreenedToday.com.
“Everyone needs to get screened, universally, men and women at 45-years-old with African-Americans starting screenings around 40,” Soliman said.
If you are experiencing symptoms or have a family history of colorectal cancer, Soliman recommends starting screenings even earlier, such as five years before a family member was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, or at the onset of symptoms (such as change in bowel habits or bleeding).
As with many cancers, catching colorectal cancer early typically minimizes the negative effect the cancer can have on the body. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Soliman said.
There are several options for getting screened, including what Soliman called “the gold standard” – optical colonoscopy, in which you drink a special solution or take a few pills to cleanse yourself before going for the colonoscopy. There’s also a DNA test that can be done via stool samples, imaging tests such as Compute-tomography(CT) colonography, or a hybrid of imaging and scopes. The bottom line is to get in to see your doctor to discuss what the best option, among many, may be to prevent colon cancer.
“Lots of times we are able to offer curative therapy through the colonoscopy,” Soliman said. “We can get these early-stage cancers taken care of just by polypectomy alone. If, God forbid, further treatment is needed, we can often offer minimally invasive options to get you back to your life relatively quickly.”