Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States — yet with regular screening it is preventable.
Early detection is key when treating colorectal cancer. Most people should begin receiving colon treatments by age 50, but patients with an increased risk due to family history or abnormal polyps may need treatment sooner. Talk to your doctor for more information on when you should begin receiving colon screenings.
Puneet S. Basi, MD, gastroenterologist at UPMC Susquehanna, said patients often avoid or delay colonoscopies due to busy schedules:
“The two most common reasons people put off having a colonoscopy are ‘I can’t take time off work,’ and ‘I don’t want to go through the preparation process.’”
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New direct referrals enable patients to both see a gastroenterologist and undergo a colonoscopy on the same day, making the screening process less time-intensive.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
- Bloody stool
- Frequent stomach aches and cramps
- A change in bowel habits, including narrower stool
- Losing weight without explanation
- Constipation or diarrhea without explanation
Read Dr. Basi’s full blog post for more information on the colonoscopy process.
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A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.