Author: Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons, P.C.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

By Claudia Hriesik, MD

Dear Patients

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and now is a good time to learn more about colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) and how it can be prevented or best treated.

The good news first: Colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable!

Some facts:

  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and is an “Equal Opportunity Killer”= both men and women are affected
  • This year, approximately 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 56,000 people will die from the disease
  • Colorectal cancer is a disease that can be prevented though through regular screenings, a healthy diet and regular exercise
  • The risk of colorectal cancer goes up as we get older
  • Although the number of colorectal cancer cases has declined in adults 55 years of age and older since 2005, the number of cases has increased in people younger than 55
  • Screening and early detection are the key to help find colorectal cancer when it’s small, hasn’t spread, and might be easier to treat
  • The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women at average risk start colorectal cancer screening at age 45. Some people may be at higher risk based on their family health history and other risk factors and might need to start testing earlier

How can you lower your own risk?

  • Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week

Can colorectal cancer be cured?

  • Since there are very few symptoms associated with colorectal cancer, regular screening is essential. Screening is beneficial for two main reasons: colorectal cancer is preventable if polyps that lead to the cancer are detected and removed, and it is curable if the cancer is detected in its early stages
  • If detected, colorectal cancer requires surgery in nearly all cases for complete cure, sometimes in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy
  • Between 80-90% of patients are restored to normal health if the cancer is detected and treated in the earliest stages. However, the cure rate drops to 50% or less when diagnosed in the later stages

Note: Studies have shown that patients treated by colorectal surgeons — experts in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of colon and rectal problems — are more likely to survive colorectal cancer and experience fewer complications

How can you be screened?

  • Current screening methods include:
    • Stool occult blood and abnormal DNA testing (Chemical tests that can detect hidden blood in the stool and/ or changes in the DNA)
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (a visual examination of the rectum and lower portion of the colon)
    • Colonoscopy (a visual examination of the entire colon)
    • Double contrast barium enema (X-ray) or CT colonography
    • Digital rectal exam

As opposed to other tests: During a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy colon polyps can both be detected and removed!

Please find out from your colorectal surgeon or other healthcare provider which screening procedure is right for you and how often you should be screened

Screening can be a Lifesaver!

For further questions/ concerns please contact us at (585) 22-COLON or (585) 222-6566
Your team at Rochester Colon and Rectal Surgeons, P.C.

Dr. Stephen M. Rauh Retires

After a remarkable 31 year career, Dr. Rauh has retired from clinical practice and will no longer be seeing patients.

Dr. Rauh joined Dr. Graney and Dr. Dmochowski in 1989 and quickly became a leader in colon and rectal surgery, highly regarded in the region and throughout the country. As managing partner of RCRS for nearly his entire career, he was instrumental in the growth of the practice into what it is today: 8 full-time physicians and 4 advanced practice providers seeing thousands of patients per year across 6 locations.

In 2008 he and Dr. Ognibene performed the first robotic colon resection in upstate New York. Thanks to his expertise and innovative thinking, RCRS is now amongst the leaders in robotic colon and rectal surgery worldwide, having performed several thousand robotic operations to date.

Throughout an extraordinary career of dedication and hard work, Dr. Rauh has been known for providing compassionate care of the highest standard. His patients and staff who have worked with him will miss him dearly. We have fond memories and we wish Dr. Rauh the best in his retirement, which is well deserved! Thank you, Dr Rauh, for all your contributions to RCRS.

Welcome Dr. Aaron Rickles, MD to Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Aaron Rickles, MD to the team at Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons, P.C. He had completed his fellowship training in colon and rectal surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida which is the largest training program in the nation. He also held a notable residency in General Surgery at the University of Rochester. Among other honors, Dr. Aaron Rickles, MD will be a great member of our team to provide excellent care for our patients. 

Get a Checkup During National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

I am really looking forward to my colonoscopy,” said no one ever.

Let’s face it; a colonoscopy ranks right up there with a root canal for least favorite necessary evil. The good news is that some of the prep has improved in the last few years, and there are new less invasive screenings available. If caught early enough, colon cancer can be treated and cured.

Continue reading “Get a Checkup During National Colon Cancer Awareness Month”

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Early Screening is Essential to the Prevention of Colon and Rectal Cancers. Early screening can also affect the Cure Rate of Colon and Rectal Cancers.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly occurring cancer in the USA and nearly five percent of Americans will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime. At any time, over one million Americans are currently living with colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with over 56,000 people expected to die from this disease each year.

However, it is a preventable and very curable disease if caught early.

Because there are often no symptoms when it is first developing, colorectal cancer can only be caught early through regular screening.

The possibility of curing patients after symptoms develop is only 50%, but if colorectal cancer is found and treated at an early stage before symptoms develop, the opportunity to cure it is 80% or better.

Most colon cancers start as non-cancerous growths called polyps. If these polyps are found early, while they are still non-cancerous, they can be removed and the cancer may be prevented. Major surgery can usually be avoided, as well.

Colorectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of colon and rectal problems and play an instrumental role in the effective screening, prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that patients treated by colorectal surgeons are more likely to survive colorectal cancer because of their advanced training and the large number of colon and rectal disease surgeries they perform.

At RCRS we offer colonoscopies in our convenient outpatient procedure centers, often at lesser cost compared to colonoscopies in the hospital setting. Female and Male providers are available for colorectal cancer screening.

Call us to learn more or to arrange for a pre colonoscopy visit.