Colorectal cancer causes the third highest number of cancer deaths in the United States, and in 2013, more than 143,000 new cases were diagnosed.
Yet, it is a form of cancer that is majorly preventable and easily detected early through the use of screening.
If detected early (in stage 1), the five year survival rate of colorectal cancer is more than 90 percent.
Colonoscopies are the gold standard of screening methods for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer occurs in men and women equally, therefore, it is recommended for everyone to begin getting colonoscopies at the age of fifty, unless an individual is at higher risk of developing the disease.
Certain factors such as race, family history of the disease and certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, may put an individual at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer, and they may be recommended to begin getting screened at an earlier age.
Through the use of colonoscopy, gastroenterologists can not only detect and diagnose malignancies in the colon, but they can also detect and remove possibly pre-cancerous polyps lining the colon, significantly decreasing risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Despite common belief, colonoscopies are painless procedures in which the patient is properly sedated and gastroenterologists are actually able to remove any polyps discovered during the colonoscopy procedure as well.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians and gastroenterologists who are dedicated to educating the community about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and making sure they get colonoscopies within the recommended time frame.
Dr. Najeeb Rehman is a gastroenterologist at Reidsville Clinic for Gastrointestinal Disease and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group.
Dr. Rehmen received his Doctor of Medicine from Nishtar Medical College in Multan, Pakistan.
He completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the VA Medical Center in Washington DC.
Cone Health Cancer Center has teamed with Whole Foods Market at Friendly Center to support colorectal cancer awareness month in March.
Discover the colon through a special “strolling” display that educates you about colon cancer.
The event will be held noon-3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Whole Foods Market, 3203 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro.