The month of March is dedicated to colorectal cancer awareness. Colorectal cancer affects one out of 18 Americans. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. “Because of screening tests, colorectal cancer can be caught early, increasing the survival rate for those diagnosed with the disease,” says Charles Phan, M.D., board certified gastroenterologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
Colorectal cancer refers to cancer of the colon or rectum. While the exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, Dr. Phan cites the following as risk factors that may increase a person’s chance of developing the disease: Your age; family history; personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer usually does not present symptoms in its earliest stages,” shares Swarna Balasubramaniam, M.D., board certified colorectal surgeon on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. However, as the cancer progresses, Dr. Balasubramaniam says the following symptoms may develop: • Irregular bowel habits, including constipation and diarrhea; • A constant feeling that you need to have a bowel movement; • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools
• Anemia (low blood count; found on lab tests); • Frequent stomach pains or cramps
You should consult a physician about being screened for colorectal cancer if you experience any of these symptoms.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balasubramaniam or Dr. Phan, call our physician referral service at 281-274-7500.
Free Seminar & Screening
Join us on March 30 for a free Colorectal Cancer Awareness Seminar presented by Dr. Swarna Balasubramaniam and Dr. Charles Phan. Attendees will receive a free colorectal screening kit to take home. The presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in Conference Rooms A-D at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Seating is limited. Reserve your seat by calling 281-274-7500.