Digestive Disease Topic of The Month - Colorectal Cancer

At Hudson Valley Center for Digestive Health we take pride in offering topics of the month to help educate our patients. Our healthcare professionals feel by educating our patients make you a better well informed patient about your condition or disease.

I got screened for colorectal cancer. What about you?

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month - Treatment Options and Info

Colorectal cancer is extremely preventable if polyps that lead to the cancer are detected and removed, and it is very curable if the cancer is detected in its early stages. Prevention is essential. A screening or wellness visit can mean life or death.

If you or someone you know has been postponing their screening due to financial circumstances, now is the time to reconsider. If you are age 50 or older and have commercial insurance coverage, your preventative care visits including screening colonoscopy could be free to you.

What you should know:

  • As part of healthcare reform, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires all healthcare insurance plans to begin covering preventative services without any cost sharing for patients. Some plans are exempt from the waiver, and therefore it is important to verify your benefits in advance.
  • Talk to your doctor to determine if your colonoscopy would be screening or diagnostic, as a diagnostic colonoscopy is not considered preventative.
  • Prior to receiving services, call you insurance company to confirm that you are covered, and that they are covering your screening colonoscopy without any cost sharing.
  • Screening colonoscopies are covered under PPACA. However, not all services considered to be preventative are covered in the law, so it’s important to contact your carrier prior to receiving services to determine if you will have any financial responsibility.
  • Some plans consider a patient with a personal history, and sometimes a family history, to be a diagnostic procedure instead of a screening, and therefore may not waive the patient financial responsibility. Check with your payer to find out about your benefits.
  • If your provider is out-of-network, the insurance carrier does not have to follow PPACA, and therefore you may have a financial responsibility.

Past Digestive Disease Topics - Hemorrhoids

hemorrhoids About 75 percent of people will have had a hemorrhoid at some point in their life. 50% of people after the age 50 suffer from chronic hemorrhoidal problems. Everyone is born with hemorrhoids, as a normal part of the vascular tissue in the rectum. Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. There are two types of hemorrhoids, Internal and External. Both of which can cause different symptoms and are treated differently.
External hemorrhoids are described as painful lumps, located underneath the skin around the anus. These usually resolve by themselves and rarely require intervention.

Internal hemorrhoids develop in the lower part of the rectum. Internal hemorrhoids frequently cause anal bleeding and may protrude, or prolapse during a bowel movement. Most prolapsed hemorrhoids shrink back inside the rectum on their own. A prolapsed hemorrhoid often causes pain, bleeding, discomfort and anal itching.

Chronic, prolonged exposure to symptomatic hemorrhoids may result in further advancement of the disease and can require a very painful surgery. Some people experience hemorrhoid-like symptoms when they actually have a more serious underlying gastrointestinal condition. Your physician may recommend for you to have a colon cancer screening, or a colonoscopy to rule out other potential sources of bleeding, before treating hemorrhoids.

Talk to your physician today about treatment options that are available for you. Click here to learn more about Hemorrhoids Treatment that are available

diverticulitisDiverticulosis and Diverticulitis

At Hudson Valley Center for Digestive Health we take pride in offering topics of the month to help educate our patients. Our healthcare professionals feel by educating our patients make you a better well informed patient about your condition or disease.

This month's topic is diverticulosis and diverticulitis also called diverticular disease.

Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis happens when small pouches, called diverticula, bulge outward through the colon. This becomes more common as people get older, and about half of all people over age 60 have it. Our physicians at Hudson Valley Center for Digestive health believe the main cause of this condition is a low-fiber diet.

Most people with diverticulosis don' t have symptoms, but the condition can cause mild cramps, bloating or constipation. A high-fiber diet and medications to reduce colon spasm will often relieve these symptoms.

Diverticulitis

If the pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is then called diverticulitis. The most common symptom is abdominal pain, usually on the left side. If the diverticula are infected, patients can also have fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping or constipation. In serious cases, diverticulitis can lead to bleeding or blockages or even perforation (puncture) through the bowel wall. Treatment focuses on clearing up the infection with antibiotics, resting the colon and preventing future problems.

Talk to your physician at Hudson Valley Center for Digestive Health about different types of treatments and lifestyle changes that are recommended for this condition.

What is Fiber?

Fiber is a substance in foods that comes from plants. Fiber helps soften stool so it moves smoothly through the colon and is easier to pass. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in beans, fruit, and oat products. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is found in whole-grain products and vegetables. Both kinds of fiber help prevent constipation.

 

Patient Education Helpful Links

Common Conditions of the Colon, Rectum and Anus

These links are directed to American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons, National Cancer Institute, Medline Plus, National Digestive Diseases NDDIC or PubMed Health third party web sites for patient education. These links are provided to help educate you better about your condition. Please consult your physician first regarding any of these conditions and diseases.


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