Drs. Booker H. Dalton, Jr., and Manan B. Shah of Digestive Healthcare
of Georgia appeared March 20 as guests on “The Weekly Check-Up” on WSB-AM 750 and WSB-FM 95.5 to help highlight Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
The show, which is hosted by Dr. Bruce Feinberg, the former president and CEO of Georgia Cancer Specialists, is heard by an average of 50,000 listeners per week.
Colorectal cancer ranks second in the United States among the causes of cancer death. Guidelines recommend that at age 50 men and women alike undergo colonoscopies as a preventative measure to detect colorectal cancer, which is highly preventable. If the colonoscopy does not detect cancer or precancerous polyps, guidelines recommend that patients should undergo a colonoscopy again in 10 years.
Dr. Dalton fielded a question from a listener named Ann, who was scheduled to undergo a colonoscopy in the near future. The accepted practice is that patients are anesthetized during the procedure. However, during her previous colonoscopy, Ann said she elected not to receive anesthesia and was wondering if it would be possible to do the same again for her next colonoscopy.
“We do get this request periodically,” Dr. Dalton said. “Ann, as you saw, we can do it without anesthesia but we really don’t encourage that. The reason is because it is to your benefit to have anesthesia. We get a better look if you’re completely relaxed.”
DHG recently upgraded its colonoscopy scopes and uses the latest technology from Fuse, which allows the physicians to see a 330-degree view of a patient’s colon, compared to the 170 degrees, which is standard.
“The optics are so good and the pick-up rate (of precancerous polyps or cancerous cells) is so high when done the right way that we’re going to get a better exam if you’re completely relaxed,” Dr. Dalton said.
While Dr. Dalton said his preference is for patients to be anesthetized, he said for a patient like Ann, he would perform the procedure without anesthesia, if the patient felt strongly enough about it.
“I absolutely would,” he said. “If it’s very, very important to you, fundamentally important to you, I’d much rather you watch the procedure (without anesthesia) than not do the procedure.”
Later, Dr. Shah took a call from Bruce in Atlanta who was gearing up for a colonoscopy at age 70. Bruce had a question about what the best diet and lifestyle is to try and remain cancer-free.
“We all want to prevent colon cancer,” Dr. Shah said. “Certain things we found create an increased risk. There are major lifestyles risks we can modify. If you have a diet high in fruits and vegetables, patients who exercise, patients who trim excess body weight — those are things we can control to help minimized chances of developing colon cancer.”
He summed it up like this: “Lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking heavily, eat more fiber, eat more natural foods, avoid processed foods and live healthy.”
Another caller, Tim in Madison, mentioned how his routine colonoscopy at age 50 detected that he had Stage III rectal cancer, which had metastasized to his lymphatic system – a grave diagnosis. Six years later, he is still going strong.
Dr. Feinberg pointed out how the routine colonoscopy had prolonged Tim’s life and how that underscores the importance for every individual at age 50 to undergo the procedure because, as in Tim’s case, it can be life-saving.
You can listen to the full interview at: http://www.weeklycheckup.com/blog/2016/32016-dr-booker-dalton-and-dr-manan-shah-of-digestive-healthcare-of-georgia/