Cancer Prevention

Perfecting Cancer Prevention

Unfortunately, most cancers are not preventable. While you can take steps to minimize the risk — for example, by not smoking — you can’t prevent them. But there are exceptions.


Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the third deadliest in the U.S. — yet is highly preventable. How? A simple colonoscopy from Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana.

Here’s how it can prevent cancer. During a colonoscopy, the physician detects and removes polyps found in the colon. These polyps have the potential to become cancerous if left in the colon.

Of course, this suggests the obvious: that you should choose a practice that’s really good at detecting and removing these polyps. That’s why Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana is the smart choice.

There’s actually a way to measure how well any practice performs at colonoscopies. It’s called the adenoma detection rate or ADR. The higher the ADR, the better the practice is at detecting and removing those polyps that could become cancerous.

Our adenoma detection rate is more than twice the national average, and on a par with the ADR of the Mayo Clinic, who sent one of their own experts to our practice to observe our specialists. We were also one of only ten practices in the U.S. invited to take part in a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic.

Everyone should have a colonoscopy when they reach the age of 50. If you or someone in your family has a history of colon cancer, you should begin at age 40.

Why do some people hesitate about getting a colonoscopy? Two reasons. The thought of the procedure itself make them feel uncomfortable, or they’ve heard that the preparation is terrible. So let us put your mind at ease.

The preparation has gotten much, much easier in recent years, and many people are able to comfortably work a full day before the day of their procedure with minimal inconvenience. And because you’re sedated for the procedure itself, it’s completely comfortable.


Cancer of the Esophagus

While less well-known than other cancers, esophageal cancer nonetheless takes thousands of lives in the U.S. alone every year. Persistent heartburn and acid reflux, left untreated, can lead to something called Barrett’s Esophagus — damage to the lining of your esophagus, which carries food from your mouth to your stomach. More than 3 million Americans have this condition.

If left untreated, Barrett’s can lead to cancer of the esophagus. Our experts have a number of ways to help prevent this worst-case scenario from ever happening.

First, we take a close look at your esophagus, and if necessary, perform a biopsy. If the results show that you have Barrett’s Esophagus, we can use an advanced outpatient procedure called esophageal ablation that destroys the bad or damaged cells in your esophagus so they can grow back healthy, dramatically lowering the risk of cancer.

We can also treat that persistent heartburn or acid reflux to help prevent a recurrence.


An Ounce of Prevention

It’s impossible to be healthy if your digestive system is compromised. And since these forms of cancer are so readily preventable, why not take advantage of the services available to you from the experts at Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana? A little prevention can add years to your life.