March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and King’s Daughters is encouraging individuals to get screened.
“Colon cancer can be prevented,” said KDMC gastroenterologist Arthur Gaing, M.D., who practices at King’s Daughters Medical Specialties in Ashland. “Colon cancer screenings should be viewed as a vital part of routine health maintenance, in the same regard as hypertension, diabetes and cardiac screenings.”
Scheduling a screening:
The good news about screenings? A physician referral is not required, most insurance plans cover a screening colonoscopy, and the procedure is nothing like it used to be. Interested individuals may contact offices of any of the six gastroenterologists practicing at KDMC:
300 St. Christopher Drive, Suite 200, Ashland — (606) 836-9644
Physician: Rajkumar Warrier, M.D.
King’s Daughters Medical Specialties – Gastroenterology
Medical Plaza A, 617 23rd St., Suite 425, Ashland — (606) 327-1760
Physicians: Morris W. Beebe, M.D. (also seeing patients in Olive Hill and Paintsville); Arthur Gaing, M.D. and Garfield Grandison, M.D.
Tri-State Digestive Disease Associates
Medical Plaza A, 617 23rd St., Suite 11, Ashland — (606) 324-3188
Physicians: Cheryl Bascom, M.D. and Michael Canty, M.D.
What everyone should know about colorectal cancer
Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S., and Kentucky has the nation’s third highest death rate for colorectal cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Few cancers are as preventable,” said Eva Joseph, King’s Daughters digestive health nurse navigator. “Screening tests find polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find cancer early, when the chance for cure is good.”
Colon cancer affects both men and women, most often those age 50 or older, said Joseph, adding that one in 17 people will develop colon cancer in their lifetime. Detection of colon cancer or pre-cancerous polyps is achieved through screening techniques such as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, barium enema or virtual colonoscopy.
“Only one in three colon cancers are currently being diagnosed at an early, treatable stage,” Joseph said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Statistics from The American Cancer Society:
What test is right for you?
Scientific data does not suggest there is a single test best for any one person, Joseph said. Each test has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss with your physician the benefits and potential risks associated with each screening option. Which test you receive will depend on your preferences, your medical condition and resources available for testing and follow up.
KDMC is a locally controlled, not-for-profit, 465-bed regional referral center, offering comprehensive cardiac, vascular, medical, surgical, maternity, pediatric, rehabilitative, psychiatric, cancer, neurological, pain care, wound care and home care services. For additional information, visit us online at kdmc.com or call 1-888-377-KDMC (5362).
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