March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is a great time to raise awareness about this disease and encourage people to take action to prevent and detect it early. Dr. Paul Ossi, board-certified radiation oncologist, recently joined Millennium Physician Group’s Medicare Connect radio segment to talk about Colorectal cancer and the importance of screening.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, and it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal Cancer, also known as Colon and Rectal Cancer, is a cancer that affects our large intestine- therefore, affecting our gastrointestinal system. Colorectal cancer spreads by growing into the blood vessels or lymph vessels, then traveling by bloodstream to other lymph vessels or cells in the body.
The good news is that Colorectal cancer is preventable and treatable when detected early. Screening is the key to early detection and can help prevent the disease from developing in the first place.
Dr. Ossi explained that screening for Colorectal cancer should begin at age 45 for most people, and earlier for those at higher risk. He discussed the different screening options, including colonoscopy, which is considered the gold standard, as well as stool-based tests and virtual colonoscopy.
Dr. Ossi also discussed the importance of a healthy lifestyle in preventing Colorectal cancer. He emphasized the role of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption in reducing the risk of developing the disease. However, there are certain risk factors that sometimes cannot be avoided, including:
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
- Having an inherited syndrome
- Race and ethnicity
In addition to screenings, Dr. Ossi also discussed treatment options for Colorectal cancer, that differ for both Colon and Rectal cancer. Treatment options most commonly utilized are:
- Radiation Therapy- including Proton Therapy
Overall, Dr. Ossi’s interview on Millennium Physician Group’s Medicare Connect radio segment was an important reminder of the importance of screening and the role that healthcare providers can play in helping to prevent and detect Colorectal cancer. If you or a loved one are due for Colorectal cancer screening, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider and take action to protect your health.
To learn more about Colorectal Screening and Diagnostic Services as well as Treatment Options at Ackerman Cancer Center, visit ackermancancercenter.com
To view the full radio segment with Dr. Paul Ossi and Millennium Physician Group, click the link below!