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

Colon Cancer Screenings: 45 Is The New 50

Several well-known medical entities have updated their colon cancer screening recommendations from age 50 to 45 for those with average risk. Recently, both the American Cancer Society and the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) have made these changes due to the increasing numbers of young adults being diagnosed with colon cancer. These routine screenings can catch colon cancer sooner making it easier to treat and increasing the survival rates, so now, for colon cancer screenings: 45 is the new 50. Continue reading “Colon Cancer Screenings: 45 Is The New 50”

Colorectal Cancer Fast Facts

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the highly-trained specialists at Rochester Colon-rectal Surgeons, P.C. have compiled this list of colorectal cancer fast facts to help educate patients on the importance of regular screenings. If you have more questions or would like to schedule a screening, contact our office in Rochester, NY at (585) 222-6566 today!

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

Black main in tie
Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Though the leading cause of death in Americans is heart disease, cancer is the 2nd most common reason for death. Of all cancer deaths, about 10% are due to colorectal cancer. This means approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. die from colorectal cancer each year. That’s about 140 people across the country every day.

Routine screening may prevent colorectal cancer.

Colonoscopy and other screening modalities can save your life or the life of someone you care about. Colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer by detecting and removing polyps (small, abnormal tissue growths inside the colon) before they turn into cancer. Screening also can help you by detecting colorectal cancer while it may still be at an early stage when treatment is most likely to be effective. The 5-year survival (cure) rate for patients in whom cancer is detected and treated at an early stage can be as high as 90-95%. Unfortunately, survival predictably decreases as the stage of cancer at the time of detection becomes more advanced.

Age over 45 years is the #1 risk factor for colorectal cancer.

The vast majority (up to 90%) of colorectal cancers occur in both men and women 45 years old or older. The risk for developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Recent research has shown that the previously recommended screening age (50 years old) was too late. An increasing number of cancer cases across the nation had been found in patients under 50, leading to a lowering of the recommended age to 45.

There may be warning signs.

Colorectal cancer is known as a silent killer. But there may be signals that something is wrong that you should not ignore. Examples of symptoms that some people experience include a change in their usual bowel habits, seeing blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation, or a sensation of incompletely evacuating stool when moving your bowels. Other concerning signs include unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting and severe fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact our office as soon as possible.

Lifestyle choices can affect your risk of cancer.

There are many risk factors that you do not have any control over, such as your genetic makeup. But there are many risks you do have some control over which are associated with colorectal cancer risk. Losing weight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30, quitting smoking, minimizing your use of alcohol, limiting your intake of processed and red meats, increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber, and increasing your activity level and exercise can all favorably affect your risk of colorectal cancer.

Speaking of genetics…

If you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who has had colorectal cancer, or precancerous polyps earlier than age 45, your risk of developing polyps and cancer is 2 to 5 times more than the general population. Genetic testing is available at our office for patients who may fit a profile suspicious for an inherited form of colorectal cancer.

Screening rates vary.

Believe it or not, a large fraction of the population over age 45 is not current with the recommended screening guidelines. On average, only about 2 out of every 3 people at risk for colorectal cancer have taken the initiative to undergo a screening test. This varies considerably by geographic location, with just 40% of people in parts of Alaska, up to 80% of people in parts of Florida, who have taken the lead in their colorectal health. Some of the reason for this is attributable to access to medical care, but screening rates mainly vary in relation to different educational and economic status. Understandably, cost is a big obstacle to obtaining proper care for some people. The Affordable Care Act includes a mandate that colorectal cancer screening in patients who fit age criteria shall be covered for you with no out of pocket cost. Check with your insurance carrier for details of what your specific plan benefits may be. Many people also fear having an invasive diagnostic test or doing the bowel prep. Luckily, there is a solution for almost any concern you may have in mind … see the next paragraph for more information!

You have options.

Although colonoscopy remains the gold standard screening test against which all other tests are compared, you do have options on how to complete your screening. Alternatives to colonoscopy include sigmoidoscopy, virtual (CT scan) colonography, air-contrast barium enema x-ray, and stool card testing for microscopic traces of blood or polyp and cancer DNA. However, only colonoscopy allows for direct visual examination of the entire colon and rectum combined with the ability to simultaneously remove any polyps as they are seen.

If you have any questions about your risk of colorectal cancer or would like to schedule an appointment to have a colonoscopy, please call our office, (585) 222-6566. We’d be pleased to help you.

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. 

Fall 2018 J-Pouch Support Group Meeting

Presenter: Chris DeNucci, MD

One Foot in Front of the Other: Ultra-running with a J-Pouch

Join us for a discussion with Dr. DeNucci as he describes his active lifestyle as an ultra marathoner with a J-Pouch. He will join us for a videoconference from San Francisco and talk about the challenges and rewards of running in long-distance competitions with a J-Pouch. 

This meeting is open to the public. 

If you have had any stage of the J-Pouch surgery or are considering it, please join us to learn all about the experience of life after J-Pouch surgery. 

Humans running

Tuesday November 20th at 6:30 PM

Webster Public Library

980 Ridge Road

Webster, NY 14580