PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 23, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Colorectal cancer is a condition that often does not cause symptoms until the cancer has spread or advanced to more serious stages. That's why preventive screenings such as colonoscopies are so vital to help aid in the early detection of potentially cancerous polyps, according to Geoffrey L. Braden, a Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist.
"Colonoscopy screenings are vital to at-risk patients and those after age 50 to detect potentially cancerous polyps," Dr. Braden explains. "This test truly can be a lifesaving one."
A colonoscopy is a screening tool Dr. Braden performs by inserting a thin tube with a lighted camera on the end to view the inside of the rectum and colon, looking for cancerous polyps, ulcers, inflammation, tumors and/or bleeding. If necessary, Dr. Braden can take a biopsy or tissue sample of any growths to determine if the tissue sample contains cancerous cells.
Dr. Braden, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Gastroenterologists and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that patients get their first colonoscopy at age 50. However, some patients may need to undergo a colonoscopy at an earlier age. This includes patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or who are experiencing unusual symptoms, such as rectal bleeding or unexplained abdominal pain.
Colonoscopies are an outpatient procedure that does require bowel preparation prior to this procedure. This involves drinking a substance designed to stimulate and clean out the bowels or taking pills to have the same effect. Having a colon that is rid of as much stool as possible allows Dr. Braden to better visualize the colon and diagnose any potentially harmful areas. Colonoscopies are unique in that Dr. Braden can remove any potentially cancerous polyps during the same procedure. This makes the process both for diagnostic and treatment processes.
The test itself is very short -- typically less than 45 minutes. Sedation is used to make patients more comfortable during the procedure. While the procedure is not typically painful, patients may feel pressure, bloating or cramping. Because the patient has received some sedation, another person should be designated to drive the patient home.
When colon cancers are found in their earliest stages, nine out of 10 patients will be alive five years later, according to the American Cancer Society. This statistic further echoes the need for Bala Cynwyd residents to undergo regular screenings.
"I take every step possible to make patients comfortable during this vital screening," Dr. Braden says. "The results are well worth any discomforts because the test can provide peace of mind for patients as they age."
To learn more about screenings for colon cancer or to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, please call Dr. Braden's Bala Cynwyd office at (610) 664-9700. To learn more about services Dr. Braden offers, please visit his practice website at www.GISpecialists.com
About G.I. Specialists: Established over 30 years ago, G.I. Specialists is a team of 11 gastroenterologists in Bala Cynwyd, Philadelphia and Langhorne, PA devoted to the full range of G.I. diseases and conditions, including colonoscopy, stomach pain, colon cancer and heart burn, among other conditions and diseases. G.I. Specialists consists of Drs. Harvey Lefton, MD, FASGE, Jeffrey Pilchman, MD, Gregory Schapiro, MD, Jamie Kasper, MD, Jenifer Lehrer, MD, Matthew Cohen, MD, Geoffrey Braden, MD, Alexander Harmatz, MD, Raynard Cheung, MD, Paul Weisberg, MD, and Anthony Rosa, MD. All of the specialists at G.I. Specialists are active in professional societies and participate in continuing medical education to keep current on the latest strategies for helping their patients. Each has areas of special interest and expertise while still offering general care for conditions of the digestive system for inpatients and outpatients. All of the doctors at G.I. Specialists are board-certified in the subspecialty of gastroenterology.
Dr. Anthony Rosa
10800 Knights Road Suite 240
Philadelphia, PA 19114
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