PulseBack to Summer 2021
ACMC Center for Digestive Health team eases discomfort, helps stop cancer
Digestive disorders—acid reflux, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis—are more common than you may think. And colon cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. That's why ACMC is your resource for specialized digestive healthcare.
ACMC digestive health specialists David Novak, MD; David Weinerman, MD; Ashok Kondru, MD; and Jerry Anne Berg, CNP, are trained in diagnosing and treating digestive disorders and diseases. They see patients daily at the ACMC Center for Digestive Health, 2112 Lake Ave., Ashtabula.
"Many times people may ignore the symptoms. They think they may have stress in their lives. While that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, the effects should not be ignored without being evaluated. Repeated symptoms over a long period of time should never be ignored.
"Symptoms to watch out for include unintentional weight loss, unexplained worsening heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and rectal bleeding," Dr. Weinerman said.
ACMC gastroenterologists can provide expert diagnoses and offer patients advanced treatment options once the cause of the disorder is determined. They also offer regular screenings, such as colonoscopies—the gold standard for detecting colon cancer.
Colon cancer starts as tiny polyps that form in the large intestine (colon). Over time, the polyps can become cancerous. To determine if you have polyps, a gastroenterologist performs a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure during which the gastroenterologist inserts a colonoscope, a thin flexible tube with a camera and light on the end. The colonoscope gives the physician a view of the entire colon. If polyps are found, they can be removed during the colonoscopy.
Dr. Novak said that if no polyps are found and the patient isn't at high risk for colon cancer, the normal time between colonoscopies is 10 years. Sadly, due to COVID-19, people have put off screenings like colonoscopies. The National Cancer Institute estimates an additional 10,000 people will die from colon cancer because they have delayed getting a colonoscopy.
"Colonoscopies save lives. Early-stage colon cancer is often curable. It is estimated that up to 85% of colorectal cancer could be prevented if everyone who should get screened actually did," he said.
Colonoscopies save lives
To schedule an appointment to talk about your risk for colon cancer or other gastrointestinal disorders, call 440.998.0322.