March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and the third most common cause of cancer death in women. In other words, colorectal cancer is serious.
Colon screenings play a significant role in identifying a course of action for patients with colon cancer. Advanced diagnostic technology and procedures at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) allow physicians to tailor treatment options for each patient.
Michael G. Hurtuk, M.D., fellowship-trained colorectal surgeon at LCMH, urges both men and women to get a colonoscopy starting at age 50 – earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer. Screening for colorectal cancer could save your life. Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp – a small overgrowth of cells that forms on the lining of the colon or rectum that can potentially transform into cancer.
“A colonoscopy only lasts about 15 to 30 minutes and is the single most effective way to detect colorectal cancer early,” says Dr. Hurtuk. “Testing saves lives by finding polyps before they become cancerous.”
“Colonoscopy is the only screening method where if we find a polyp we can remove it at the same time,” says Michael D’Astice, M.D., gastroenterologist and chair of the gastroenterology department at LCMH. “It’s one of the only screenings that’s also preventive since we can remove polyps before they have a chance to become cancer.”
LCMH offers online scheduling for screening colonoscopies without having to get a physician order. Go to www.LCMH.org/onlinescheduling to schedule yours today. Additionally, LCMH offers a FREE online colon cancer risk test at http://tests.lcmcancercare.org. This short assessment will help you understand your risk of developing colon cancer and provide tools and information about detecting, preventing and fighting it.
“The good news is that colorectal cancer is treatable,” says Dr. Hurtuk. “I collaborate with an expert team of physicians at LCMH that includes gastroenterologists and radiation oncologists to create a customized treatment plan for every patient diagnosed with colon cancer, all conveniently located under one roof.”
In addition to colorectal cancer, Dr. Hurtuk treats all general surgical conditions including but not limited to: hernias, appendicitis, gallbladder issues, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, peri-anal fistulas, rectal prolapse, small bowel obstruction, and more. To make an appointment with Dr. Hurtuk, call 708.422.8500.
On Thursday, March 1st, Dr. Hurtuk will be presenting a FREE program at LCMH titled “Good to Go: Updates on Colon Health.” Call the LCMH Health Education Center at 708.423.5774 to reserve your spot.