MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine colleagues will be wearing blue on Friday, March 3 in recognition of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
The National Dress in Blue Day is held on the first Friday in March to raise awareness and educate people about colon cancer and how to reduce their risk of the disease.
“Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States,” said Neil Gupta, MD, MPH, Loyola’s co-director of digestive health. “But it is highly preventable by participating in routine screenings such as colonoscopies.”
Colon cancer develops in the large intestine, or colon, which is the lower part of the digestive system. Rectal cancer develops in the last several inches of the colon. Together, these are referred to as colorectal cancers. Colorectal cancer most often begins when precancerous polyps develop on the inside lining of the colon. If left untreated, these benign growths can develop into cancer.
Regular screening tests help prevent colorectal cancer. Screening colonoscopies, especially among patients who have hereditary predispositions to colorectal cancer, can help identify polyps before they become colon cancer.
When scheduling a procedure, ask the physician’s adenoma detection rate. This is the proportion of the physician’s patients undergoing a screening colonoscopy in which one or more adenomas (polyps) are detected. The national benchmarks are 15 percent in women and 25 percent in men. (Loyola’s adenoma detection rate is 40 percent.)
“The higher the adenoma detection rate, the less chance you have of developing colon cancer after a colonoscopy,” said Nikhil Shastri, MD, Loyola’s medical director of gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Loyola Medicine is nationally recognized for its highly skilled team of doctors dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. The clinically integrated care team treats patients in state-of-the-art facilities, using advanced treatment options and the latest clinical research. The multidisciplinary team includes surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.