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'Gastroenterology' posts

Make a new year's resolution to be screened for colorectal cancer

We have come upon the time of year when we reflect back on the events of 2012 and look forward to new beginnings in 2013. About 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year and frequently these resolutions are health-related.

Why not let 2013 be the year you resolve to be updated on colorectal cancer screening?

Why should I worry about colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The average lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 5%. In the colon, cancer usually arises over time from abnormal polyps, called adenomas. This provides us the rare and life-saving opportunity to intervene and remove polyps to prevent cancer from developing. Pre-cancerous polyps or early cancers do not always cause symptoms, highlighting the need for routine screening.

Simply stated, there are large studies showing that screening for colorectal cancer prevents cancer. Screening saves lives. Screening detects cancer at an early and more treatable stage. How can you argue with that?

Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?

Regardless of your age, you should discuss any GI symptoms you are concerned about with your healthcare team.

If you are without symptoms...

Probiotics and our gut - what you should know

Did you know that the bacteria that live in our intestines account for over two pounds of our body weight? And that there are 10 times the number of bacterial cells in our body than human cells? Some bacteria play a beneficial role in a normal gastrointestinal (GI) tract and are known as probiotics.

Probiotics have a variety of functions in the GI tract including aiding the intestinal immune system and the intestinal nervous system, breaking our food into nutrients, blocking the bad bacteria, and promoting a healthy intestinal lining. With so many important tasks, it is no surprise that probiotics can be used to treat some common GI conditions. Though studies of probiotics are small with considerable variability, there is evidence supporting probiotic use for prevention of diarrhea caused by antibiotic use and treatment of infectious diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, clostridium difficile, and irritable bowel syndrome.

What you should know:

The U.S. FDA considers probiotics as dietary supplements, so their production is not tightly regulated and quality can vary widely. In addition, insurance companies do not cover probiotics, and the cost adds up quickly.

Should I ....

Swedish Uses Colon Cancer Live Stream to Fight Disease; Physicians will Respond on Camera to Questions During Live Streamed Colonoscopy on March 28

SEATTLE, March 27, 2012 – Colorectal cancer doesn’t broadcast its presence until it’s too late. Swedish Health Services hopes to change that by getting the word out about safe and effective prevention options.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (PST), Swedish physicians and staff will host its first-ever online chat and video stream of a colonoscopy procedure. The stream will be made available online at www.swedish.org/colonlive.

In the United States today, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women. It is estimated that 51,000 people will die of the disease this year and 143,000 new cases will be diagnosed.

Swedish Advances the Art and Science of Endoscopy; New Center Now Open on 2 SW at First Hill Campus

SEATTLE, March 21, 2012 – In the closing weeks of 2011, Swedish opened the largest, most advanced endoscopy center in the Pacific Northwest on the First Hill campus in Seattle. The 21,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art unit serves as the procedural space for a broad range of minimally invasive cases performed by gastroenterologists, colo-rectal specialists, thoracic and bariatric surgeons and pulmonologists on patients with a broad range of digestive and respiratory diseases.

“This uniquely designed space offers physicians and surgeons from diverse specialties and practices the opportunity to bring their patients the highest level of care in a collaborative, safe and comfortable environment that is easily accessed, spacious and welcoming,” said Swedish Chief Medical Officer John Vassall, M.D.

The new unit was completed just over a year after Swedish Medical Group formed Swedish Gastroenterology – a new, employed gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy service that brought together several local gastroenterologists in one Swedish-based group dedicated to providing patients with the highest level specialty and subspecialty care available. Founded by Drs. Drew Schembre and Jack Brandabur, Swedish Gastroenterology was created to bring ...

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