Dr. Sunana Sohi was recently featured on WHAS11. She highlighted the importance of colon cancer screening coupled with the heartwarming work our center brings to our patients each day.
Click here to watch the full video.
Dr. Sunana Sohi was recently featured on WHAS11. She highlighted the importance of colon cancer screening coupled with the heartwarming work our center brings to our patients each day.
Click here to watch the full video.
The Physicians and Staff of Columbia Gastroenterology Associates Announce the retirement of Dr. Marsh Willis:
Dr. Willis has provided excellent care to his patients in Columbia since arriving in this city over thirty years ago. Prior to that, he served his country as a physician in the United States Army where he completed his specialty training at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. We celebrate his distinguished career and dedication to his countless patients in this community.
His partners at Columbia Gastroenterology are grateful for his service and are honored to call him a friend and colleague. We wish him great things in his future. We also assure his patients that the remaining physicians and staff are prepared to continue his record of providing excellent, compassionate care for his patients.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee pain in adults over 50. By age 70, about 27 percent of adults have knee osteoarthritis. Some common symptoms include swelling, loss of mobility, stiffness and chronic pain.
Arthritis pain management has been the topic of much debate. Some physicians prescribe prescription opioids to manage the pain of arthritis, but new research suggests opioids may do more harm than good.
According to a new study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, opioids may not be effective in reducing pain and disability associated with knee osteoarthritis. Instead, opioids can cause unwanted side effects such as dizziness, nausea, constipation, sleepiness and addiction.
Jannis Bodden, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, conducted a four-year study on opioid use and changes in knee structure. Dr. Bodden and her colleagues found that, compared to non-opioid users, opioid users showed:
“Despite the use of opioids, baseline symptom and pain control were worse in opioid users compared to controls,” noted Dr. Bodden and colleagues. “Loss of [quality of life] was more rapid in opioid users, when adjusted for baseline pain scores, further questioning long-term opioid use, particularly in view of major adverse effects associated with this medication.”
Medication can be one component of pain management, but doctors often recommend natural treatments as well. These may include:
You don’t have to live with chronic pain. Your orthopedist can help you manage knee pain with a customized treatment plan. Knee, hip and joint surgeries are among some of the most common and successful procedures performed today, and your doctor can discuss several options to suit your needs. Call today to make an appointment.
According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of children’s UV exposure occurs before turning 18. If this is true, why aren’t more kids wearing sunglasses?
Eye protection from the sun is essential for all ages, but especially for kids. Most children receive more annual sun exposure than adults. This increased exposure to sunlight increases the risk of eye damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
Adults have a mature lens, but children’s eyes cannot filter out UV rays as efficiently. “UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens,” said ophthalmologist Michael Kutryb, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers UV light can pose.”
By encouraging your children to wear sunglasses, you can help prevent them from developing:
Make eye protection a daily habit for the whole family. Because sun damage is cumulative, it is best to begin UV protection at an early age. Here are some ways you can decrease your children’s UV exposure:
Another essential component of vision health is a comprehensive eye exam. Has it been over a year since you saw your eye doctor? Then, it may be time to call the office and schedule exams for the family.
A complete eye exam takes less than an hour, and it tests for refractive errors, focusing problems and common eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. If your doctor detects a vision problem, you can begin treatment right away.
Why is colonoscopy known as the gold standard for colon cancer prevention? It is because colonoscopy can detect and prevent colon cancer in a single test.
There are many colon cancer screening methods, but they are not equally effective. Although it is more invasive, colonoscopy includes a complete examination of the colon, and during the procedure, your doctor can remove precancerous polyps before they can develop into cancer.
Many people prefer less invasive stool tests for screening because they are quick and require no preparation. The challenge with these fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) and fecal occult blood tests, however, is that they are less precise than colonoscopies. They can only detect blood in the stool. They cannot detect polyps or tumors, and they cannot prevent colon cancer development.
A recent study published in Gut BMJ confirms the importance of choosing a colonoscopy. You are twice as likely to develop deadly colon cancer if you have a positive stool test and decide to skip your follow-up colonoscopy.
Manuel Zorzi, MD, MSc, from the Veneto Tumor Registry, Azienda Zero, Padova, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study on patients aged 50 to 69 who took a fecal immunological-based colon cancer test (FIT). When comparing the incidence and mortality among patients who tested positive on their FIT, Zorzi found the ten-year cumulative mortality for colon cancer was 6.8 per 1,000 for patients who completed a diagnostic colonoscopy and 16 per 1,000 for patients who did not.
“The excess risk of [colon cancer] death among those not completing colonoscopy after a positive fecal occult blood test should prompt screening programs to adopt effective interventions to increase compliance in this high-risk population,” said Zorzi.
Colon cancer is common, but it is preventable. Nothing works better than a colonoscopy to reduce your risk for the disease. Both the American Cancer Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed their recommended age for baseline colon cancer screenings from 50 to 45 for all adults at average risk for colon cancer, so you may be due for a screening.
Many patients worry about the cost of a colonoscopy, but most insurance plans will pay for a screening colonoscopy. Stool tests are also considered screening exams. However, if the stool test comes back positive, the next step is a follow-up colonoscopy. This time, the procedure will be considered a diagnostic test, and the patient will have more financial responsibility. Therefore, it makes more sense to get a free or low-cost screening colonoscopy up front than to pay more for a diagnostic procedure later.
Yes, a colonoscopy takes more effort. It does require a day off work and bowel preparation, but the low-volume colon prep solution is much more palatable than it used to be. Moreover, depending on your test results, you may only have to repeat a colonoscopy every ten years. That’s better than a yearly stool test!
Schedule a colonoscopy today. Call our office to make an appointment for this potentially life-saving procedure.
There has been recent media coverage regarding people who received a medical co-payment fee from a colonoscopy performed after having a positive Cologuard® test. We’ve provided a few links to the report, which appeared in a number of publications:
A matter not reported in the article is that a large quantity of these test results can be false-positive, prompting people to worry about having polyps or cancer and being faced with a potential medical co-pay even when receiving a negative colonoscopy result.
One recent study involving 450 individuals, exhibited at Digestive Disease Week in May 2021, revealed that only two percent of individuals with a positive stool test had colon cancer. Moreover, two-thirds of the individuals received a false-positive result, which may have generated more out-of-pocket costs for a colonoscopy to confirm the results of the home test, as described by the media reports. Furthermore, many health insurance plans will provide benefits for a simple colonoscopy that detects and minimizes the chance of colon and rectal cancer as a preventive service.
Facts about colon and rectal cancer
Colon cancer, or cancer of the large intestine, causes the death of more than 50,000 lives every year. It is the second most common type of cancer fatality in the U.S. Colorectal cancer can be prevented, treated, and overcome, but only when detected accurately and early on. Because this cancer commonly arises as growths, or polyps, in the lining of the colon (large intestine), identifying and removing these growths is the most effective option to guard against colon cancer.
There are three main methods of screening for colorectal cancer:
Colonoscopy exams are regarded as the gold standard for finding polyps in the colon. Polyps detected throughout the course of a colonoscopy test are removed during the process, often eliminating the requirement for additional procedures.
In the event that potential polyps are detected through a Cologuard or positive FIT test, a colonoscopy will have to be performed to eliminate the intestinal growths. Bigger growths could remain undetected with FIT and Cologuard tests. When polyps fail to be identified and removed, the risk of developing colon cancer increases significantly.
Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that screenings for colorectal cancer begin at age 45 vs. 50. As a result, an additional 22 million adults age 45 – 49 should be assessed for colon cancer this year. While home colorectal cancer screening tests may appear to be a more accessible, cost-effective process, it is essential to realize that a colonoscopy is the only screening method that has the ability to identify and protect against colon and rectal cancer.
Detecting vs. preventing colon cancer
Home colon cancer screenings (such as Cologuard) are intended to discover cancerous markers (DNA) in the fecal specimen provided. But in 58% of cases, dangerous precancerous growths aren’t discovered at all with Cologuard kits. A screening test, like Cologuard, should be completed every 36 months if initial test results provide a negative outcome. Cologuard has a history of providing a substantial amount of false-positive and false-negative outcomes. In a recent survey, two-thirds of the participants who completed the Cologuard at-home test had false-positive results. A positive test outcome from the blood or stool screening requires that a colonoscopy be performed to confirm the outcomes. Since the blood or fecal test is deemed to be a “screening” assessment, the subsequent colonoscopy is regarded as a “diagnostic” colonoscopy.
Colonoscopies are examinations that serve to identify and protect against colon and rectal cancer. They detect over 95% of harmful, precancerous polyps, which are excised at the time of the procedure. A colonoscopy can also permit the biopsy of tissue for pathological testing to discover (with greater precision) if colorectal cancer is present. As a result, colonoscopy procedures are much more conclusive and provide preventive measures since they remove any precancerous polyps or abnormal cells identified in the large intestine.
The predominant specifications of colonoscopy procedures include:
Screening/preventive colonoscopies are carried out most often for asymptomatic patients (those with no previous or current intestinal issues) age 45 or older who wish to undergo a baseline screening to learn if they could be at early risk for colorectal cancer. This type of colonoscopy permits the doctor to identify any abnormal areas in the large intestine, such as growths and abnormal cells. Throughout the course of a screening colonoscopy, polyps (which can turn cancerous) can be eliminated and tissue samples can be performed to discover if malignant cells are occurring in the colon. A preventive colonoscopy is advised every ten years for patients without symptoms between the ages of 45 – 75 who carry no personal or family history of gastrointestinal diseases, colon polyps, or colon cancer. A large number of insurance carriers typically offer benefits for screening colonoscopies when performed for preventive reasons. It is important to consult with the insurance provider prior to having a colonoscopy to understand what is covered and whether there may be any out-of-pocket fees associated with the procedure.
Surveillance colonoscopies are performed if an individual has a history of GI disease, colon polyps, or cancer but may be asymptomatic (having no GI symptoms in the present or past). The requirement of a surveillance colonoscopy can range according to the individual’s personal history. Patients who have experienced colon polyps in the past would receive a surveillance colonoscopy and most likely have further surveillance exams every 2 – 5 years or so. It is important to check with the insurance provider ahead of undergoing any colonoscopy to determine coverage amounts and any estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
Follow-up/diagnostic colonoscopies are recommended if a person develops or has previously experienced polyps, GI symptoms, anemias, or a GI diagnosis or disease. A person’s health history and outcomes from any prior colonoscopy screening(s) determine the recommendation for a diagnostic colonoscopy. For example, if an individual undergoes a non-invasive colon cancer screening test, such as FIT or Cologuard, that generates any kind of positive result, a follow-up colonoscopy is generally required to verify the results of the screening evaluation. Follow-up colonoscopy procedures often require out-of-pocket payments, making it vital to speak with the insurance provider before having the procedure to gain an understanding of coverage amounts and any potential out-of-pocket costs.
For patients who are 45 years of age or older, it is important to have a colorectal cancer screening as a baseline and preventive measure to facilitate lasting colon health. It is also crucial to realize the disparities between colorectal cancer screening options and how each type works. Colonoscopy continues to be the most effective exam for detecting cancer and the sole form of colon cancer prevention available.
Hear more about colon and rectal cancer screenings in New Orleans, LA
If you have further concerns surrounding home colorectal cancer screenings or want to arrange for a colonoscopy, please contact Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates. Our New Orleans, LA gastrointestinal experts are ready to provide the help you need for long-term digestive health and wellness. Colon cancer screenings are simple examinations that can save your life. Contact our caring team today to learn more.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Final Recommendation Statement, Colorectal Cancer: Screening. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/colorectal-cancer-screening
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. https://ww-w.asge.org/home/about-asge/newsroom/media-backgrounders-detail/colorectal-cancer-screening
Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 2017;112:1016-1030. http://doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2017.174
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data (SSED). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf13/P130017b.pdf
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Journal, Volume 93, No. 6S: 2021 AB95
Fall is a great time to swing back into a routine. Take some time this season to get your life organized and feel your best.
Here are ideas for 30 days to better self-care that go beyond a day at the spa:
We think the last one is the most important! If you haven’t scheduled a colonoscopy and are over the age of 45, it’s time to call us to schedule a visit.
Visit us today
No one looks forward to colon cancer screenings, but they are an essential part of preventive self-care. If you’ve been avoiding getting screened, don’t put it off any longer. A colon cancer screening is one of the most important gifts you can give your family – and yourself.
Visit Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C. in Troy, Michigan, to set-up an appointment today.
Gastroparesis describes an immotile stomach. It is among the most serious and complicated gastric motility problems as it interferes with the normal involuntary movement of the stomach muscles. Under normal conditions, forceful muscular contractions in the stomach move food along the gastrointestinal (GI) system. If gastroparesis develops, however, the stomach’s ability to process food decreases significantly or may stop completely. Such a condition can prevent the stomach contents from emptying properly and may lead to a number of other health conditions.
Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates is a premier source of specialized gastroparesis care. Since August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month, our team seeks to educate patients about this concerning GI disorder. To learn more about gastroparesis from a board-certified gastroenterologist in New Orleans, LA, please contact us today.
What are the signs and symptoms of gastroparesis?
About one out of 25 Americans, including young children, suffers from gastroparesis. The GI condition is more prevalent in females versus males, and it’s more common among patients who have had diabetes for some time. Patients who have gastroparesis might experience signs and symptoms, like:
A number of patients who have gastroparesis do not experience any noticeable indications. In some cases, the condition appears fleetingly and subsides by itself or is diminished with professional care. Some cases may be less responsive to treatment.
What factors lead to gastroparesis?
The cause the gastroparesis isn’t always clear. However, physicians have pinpointed a number of factors that can contribute to the condition, including:
Health issues associated with gastroparesis are:
How is gastroparesis detected?
A gastroenterologist specializes in digestive diseases, such as gastroparesis. After reviewing a person’s symptoms and health history, a GI doctor will carry out a physical exam and likely recommend lab work to evaluate blood sugar levels and other factors. Additional procedures conducted to diagnose gastroparesis may include:
How do GI doctors treat gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is a long-term health illness. While treatment generally doesn’t resolve the disorder, gastroparesis can be controlled and managed with medical care. Individuals living with diabetes are advised to actively monitor and manage their blood glucose amounts to curtail any issues with gastroparesis. Some patients could find gastroparesis treatment success with medications, such as:
Certain people may benefit from surgical procedures to treat gastroparesis, including:
Other ways to treat gastroparesis include:
Can a certain diet help with gastroparesis?
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, a proper diet is a cornerstone of gastroparesis treatment and serves as a natural treatment approach. Doctors might also prescribe medication and perform other medical procedures to manage symptoms of gastroparesis. However, these interventions work more effectively if a certain diet is followed. A gastroparesis diet focuses on limiting the consumption of foods that are challenging to digest, such as fatty and high-fiber foods. This can facilitate digestion and lessen the risk of problems from gastroparesis.
In the event you are having gastroparesis signs or symptoms, or troubles related to a gastroparesis diagnosis, we encourage you to visit a New Orleans, LA gastrointestinal doctor near you immediately. Please call Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates today to reserve a consultation.
Hip and knee replacement surgeries are among the most common procedures performed today, with over 1 million surgeries performed each year. With baby boomers aging, the demand for total hip replacement and total knee replacement surgeries will continue to rise as more Americans are diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
Most joint replacement procedures are successful, but about ten percent will fail every year. Metal hypersensitivity is one of the causes of failure in a knee or a hip replacement, especially in patients undergoing revision surgery.
According to research, between 10 and 15 percent of the general population are sensitive to metal. Nickel is the most common metal allergy, followed by cobalt and chromium.
Some patients can experience allergies to metal in the joint hardware or the bone cement used to attach the joint to the bone. The allergies can cause symptoms including:
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, using non-allergenic components in artificial joints can reduce complications. Karin Pacheco, MD, professor of medicine at National Jewish Health, has been analyzing allergies as a potential reason artificial joints fail. She asserts that replacing the artificial joint with non-allergenic materials may bring relief to many patients.
Pacheco and a group of research associates examined 105 patients with a failed joint that neither infection nor mechanical issues caused. The study found 34 patients were allergic to the metal, 39 were allergic to the bone cement, and 11 were allergic to both.
The research team also found:
After a 12-month follow-up, Dr. Pacheco said the patients who had the artificial joint replaced with non-allergenic materials reported they experienced significant improvement in swelling, pain and instability.
More research is necessary to determine firm conclusions about metal allergies and joint replacement. However, this study shows the importance of testing for metal allergies when there seems to be no other cause for joint failure.
“Allergies to the metals or bone cement used in artificial joints are an under-appreciated cause of artificial joint failure,” said Pacheco. “Testing for allergies and replacement of the joints with non-allergenic materials can provide significant improvement in pain and limitation” (Medical Xpress).
Patients should talk to their physicians about the type of joint they will receive and any potential risks.
If you’ve been avoiding a colonoscopy, don’t put it off any longer. Colonoscopy is much faster, safer, and more affordable than you might think. It’s essential to prioritize your health and schedule this life-saving procedure. One of the best decisions you can make for yourself and your family is to schedule a colon cancer screening today.
Colon cancer is a growth that begins in the colon, also known as the large intestine. Most colon cancers start as a polyp, a tiny growth that forms on the colon’s inner lining.
This year alone, there will be an estimated 104,270 new cases of colon cancer and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the country, and it disproportionately affects African Americans. The good news is that regular screenings can detect cancer in the early stages – and can even prevent the disease.
African Americans have a higher incidence of colon cancer than other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, African American individuals are 20 percent more likely to develop colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from the disease. Studies also show African Americans are at higher risk of developing polyps on the right side of the colon, which are often more challenging to detect.
Studies show lack of time is one of the main reasons African Americans cite for not scheduling a colonoscopy. Many people assume they are healthy if they do not have any symptoms of illness, but colon cancer rarely displays symptoms in the early stages. By the time patients experience warning signs like altered bowel habits, rectal bleeding or abdominal pain, cancer could be in an advanced stage.
Putting off a screening may increase your risk for colon cancer. Young-onset colon cancer is on the rise, especially in the Black community. People under 50 are also more likely to develop aggressive tumors.
Fear of discomfort is another reason African Americans who were surveyed reported for avoiding colonoscopy. However, patients are sedated during the procedure to avoid discomfort. Among all colon cancer screening methods, colonoscopy is the most effective test for detecting and preventing cancer because it allows the doctor to remove polyps before they become cancerous.
Another concern many patients have reported is the cost of colon cancer screening. Due to the Affordable Care Act, most screening colonoscopies are free and don’t include a deductible or out-of-pocket payment. Talk with your doctor’s office about colonoscopy coverage since there may be requirements including age and prior history of polyps.
No one looks forward to colon cancer screenings, but they are an essential part of preventive care. If you’ve been avoiding getting screened, don’t put it off any longer. A colon cancer screening is one of the most important gifts you can give your family – and yourself.
Call a GI center and make an appointment for a colon cancer screening. A preventive test today can prevent expensive medical bills in the future.