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If you’re nearing the age of 50, you’re probably not looking forward to your first colonoscopy, but it’s the best way to screen for and detect colorectal cancer. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers, Dignity Health™ Members, have the specialists and tools to screen and detect for the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
A majority of colon cancer first develops as polyps, which are tiny growths in the colon or rectum that may become cancerous. The risk of developing it increases after age 50 and doubles if a person has a parent, sibling or child who has had the cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease has few or no symptoms at first so it’s important to get regular screenings.
The CDC says that 60 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented if every man and woman 50 or older had regular colon cancer screenings because polyps detected early can be removed before they become cancerous. The American Cancer Society estimates that 50,830 people in the U.S. will die of colorectal cancer in 2013.
“The number of Americans dying from this disease each year is progressively decreasing,” said Ananya Das, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.S.G.E., a gastroenterologist with privileges at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert. “Early detection is key and can result in treatment that leads to a cure.”
Gastroenterologists at Chandler Regional Mercy Gilbert specialize in the field of digestive and liver disorders and are trained to diagnose health problems like colon cancer by using the latest technology, like the Third Eye® Retroscope®. Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert are the only hospitals in the state to use this device that can improve the detection of pre-cancerous polyps by up to 25 percent. Used during a colonoscopy, the Retroscope® allows doctors to see more of the colon through a reverse view, as well as the traditional forward-looking view minimizing any blind spots.
To learn more or to find a doctor trained to use the Third Eye® Retroscope®, please call 800.902.6041.