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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and at Advanced Gastroenterology Group, colon cancer screening and prevention is a large part of what we do. Without colon cancer screening, 1 out of every 20 people will go on to develop colon cancer. The good news is, most of these cancers can be prevented with screening. Screening is the process by which we look for cancers before symptoms start, making them easier to treat and cure. While some cancers, unfortunately, don’t have a good screening test and cannot be reliably detected early, screening in colon cancer has been very successful. In fact, colonoscopy, the most commonly used colon cancer screening test, can even PREVENT colon cancer. This is because most colon cancers start as a polyp, a small growth, which if left in place, can grow into cancer in the future. However, if found early during colonoscopy, a polyp can be easily removed, preventing cancer in the future. It is for this reason that colon cancer screening is recommended.
During this month, we will be posting information on colon cancer and screening in an effort to get more people tested. We will post a series of videos from the American Gastroenterological Association helping to stress the need to get screened. We hope that this information is helpful and results in more people getting screened for colon cancer. Please share this information with your friends. You can call our office for an appointment to discuss your screening options. We also encourage you to explore more about colon cancer screening on our web page (www.aggnj.net) and that of the American Gastroenterological Association (www.gastro.org).
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that lives in the stomach of over half the people in the world. While it can cause common diseases like gastritis and ulcers of both the stomach and beginning of the small intestine (the duodenum), it has also been known to be a risk factor for stomach cancer. A study being published in the January 30, 2020 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine examined the benefits of treating H. pylori infection in patients who had a 1st degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) with stomach cancer. The authors found that there was a 73% reduction in the risk of stomach cancer in those patients who were cured of the H. pylori infection. Though stomach cancer is a less common cause of cancer, patients with a family history of stomach cancer should be tested for H. pylori infection with subsequent treatment and confirmation of cure if positive. To find out more about H. pylori infection and how you can be tested, please call and make an appointment.
We would like to welcome Dr. Arun Mathew to our practice!