Health Care Lifestyle

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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Colon cancer screening isn't just for people who might have a concern. It’s just as important for people who are healthy, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

Doctors recommend adults should get their first colonoscopy near their 45th birthday. Some people at higher risk — including those with some digestive disorders or a family history of colon cancer — should be tested even earlier. According to the American Cancer Society, Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among people in the United States, so it’s important to keep up with regular colonoscopies.

By being preventive, you can find issues and treat them right away, which reduces your risk of ever developing cancer.

There are other tools to find colon cancer, but there are drawbacks that can make them less effective than colonoscopies. Some look at only part of the colon, others miss small tumors, while still others can detect cancer but cannot prevent it.

Some people are afraid of getting a colonoscopy, but the experience has improved greatly in recent years. The preparation typically involves a laxative the day before the procedure with a sports beverage to wash it down and keep the body's electrolytes in balance.

The procedure itself happens under sedation; most patients are sleeping soundly while it's happening.

Make sure to talk to a doctor if you have any narrowing in the width of stool, blood in stool, weight loss or abdominal pain. Again, reporting these symptoms early could mean the difference between spotting cancer when effective treatments exist, or waiting until it's too late.

Taking steps to protect yourself against colorectal cancer not only protects your body — it gives you peace of mind. Learn more about our colorectal care services at

Ahmed Allawi, MD

About Ahmed Allawi, MD, MBChB

Dr. Ahmed Allawi is a distinguished colon and rectal surgeon who is board certified in colon and rectal surgery, and general surgery. Dr. Allawi trained at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and has extensive robotic surgical experience, providing minimally invasive and complex abdominal, and pelvic surgeries. Dr. Allawi specializes in treating colon and rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other complex digestive issues.
Dr. Allawi is fluent in both Arabic and English and is dedicated to providing exceptional care to help patients regain their health and confidence. His patient-centric philosophy places well-being, peace of mind, and spirit at the forefront of treatment for true, whole person care.

AdventHealth Kim-Phung Nguyen, MD, PHD

About Kim-Phung Ngyuen, MD, PhD

Kim-Phung Nguyen, MD PhD is board certified in colon and rectal surgery and general surgery. She performs minimally invasive surgery using laparoscopic and robotic techniques to treat colon and rectal disorders, with an emphasis on individualization of care. Dr. Nguyen provides medical and surgical care for various diseases that affect the lower gastrointestinal tract with a special focus on the optimal treatment of colorectal cancers as well as benign conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and anorectal disorders. Her care philosophy is to manage patients and their expectations in an open and collaborative way. To keep busy during her time away from work, Dr. Nguyen enjoys reading, running and spending time with her family.

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