April is Esophageal Cancer and IBS Awareness Month

Esophageal Cancer Awareness

To raise awareness about Esophageal Cancer, and to educate the public about symptoms, treatment, and prevention, April has been designated as National Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2012, there were over 17,000 new cases of Esophageal Cancer in the United States, alone. Men are 3-4 times more likely to develop this type of cancer, and it typically affects those over the age of 55.
                  Esophageal Cancer normally develops in the outer layer of the esophagus and then moves into the deeper tissue layers. One type of Esophageal Cancer affects a certain type of cell that forms the outer esophageal lining. This type of cancer can occur anywhere along the length of the esophagus and counts for less than half of all cancers of the esophagus. A second type of Esophageal Cancer can cause abnormal cells to replace those cells that normally line the esophagus.
                  Though the precise cause of Esophageal Cancer is unknown, there are several risk factors linked to this disease, including:
                                    -Disorders such as Barrett’s Esophagus, Achalasia, Tylosis, and Esophageal Webs
                                    -Diets high in processed foods
                                    -Unregulated acid reflux
                                    -Tobacco use
                                    -Alcohol use
                                    -Obesity
                                    -Exposure to chemicals
                                    -Exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus
                                    -Injury to the esophagus
                                    -Other cancers

Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer can include trouble swallowing, chest pain, weight loss, hoarseness and a constant cough. Typically, physicians do not recommend routine screening for those who are considered to be low risk, and who do not show symptoms. Because these symptoms can be linked to less severe diseases and disorders, your physician may run tests such as X-Ray Imaging, Endoscopy, MRI, CT, or PET scans, Endoscopic Ultrasound, or take a Biopsy to make an accurate diagnosis.

Call our office today if you are experiencing these or other symptoms, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saracino.

IBS Awareness

If you suffer from frequent abdominal cramps, bloating, or abnormal bowel habits, you may suffer from a common disorder called Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Commonly known as IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects 10-15% adults worldwide, affects twice as many women as men, and is most common in those under 45 years of age. However, many remain undiagnosed, because they are not aware that their symptoms can be a medically recognized disorder. To raise awareness about this disorder, and to deliver important messages about treatment and prevention, April has been designated as IBS Awareness Month.
                   Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disturbance of the large intestine, which can result in abdominal cramping, pain, bloating, abnormal bowel habits, including constipation and diarrhea, and a sense of urgency. Symptoms can change over time, and a person may experience periods where symptoms flare-up and periods of remission. It is not uncommon for someone suffering from IBS to alternate between constipation and diarrhea. The causes of IBS are not fully understood, but some causes of IBS can include:

                 

There is not a test that can detect Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But often your physician can run tests, such as lab work on blood and stool samples, x-ray imaging, or endoscopic procedures, to rule out other disorders that have similar symptoms.

Though there is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there are many ways to manage this disorder. Call our office today if you are experiencing these or other symptoms, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saracino.

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