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  • NicoleDeRosa

Why COLON CANCER Screenings Are So Important.

Updated: May 25, 2023

Shawn Leyden, of Maplewood, New Jersey was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. A busy executive at the state's largest electric and gas provider, Shawn was on an aggressive every-other-year colonoscopy schedule due to a family history of colon cancer. However, he had missed a scheduled colonoscopy that might have caught his colon cancer earlier.

He eventually scheduled his colonoscopy at Saint Barnabas Medical Center with Mark Gilder, MD, a colon and rectal surgeon and an RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group provider, who found a large polyp. It was later removed with minimally invasive robotic surgery.

"Dr. Gilder spent a lot of time with me and my wife, explaining everything that needed to be done," Shawn says.

This year, Shawn went for a follow up colonoscopy screening with Dr. Gilder and we're happy to report, he remains cancer free.

"I regret not keeping my scheduled colonoscopy appointment," says Shawn Leyden of Maplewood. "If I'd stuck with what my doctor told me to do, I might not have gotten colon cancer, or I at least could have avoided the need for a six-and-a-half-hour surgery," he says.

Schedule a colonoscopy today.

As New Jersey's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, together with RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, provide patients with the most advanced cancer screening and treatment options including both routine and complex surgical procedures, sophisticated radiation therapy techniques, clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as immunotherapy and precision medicine.

If you are due for a routine colon cancer screening, don't delay. To request a colon cancer screening appointment, please click here or for a consultation with a Medical Group gastroenterologist near you, click here.

Get screened. Early detection of colon cancer can save your life.

March was Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and a great reminder to schedule your colon cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women combined in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US. Screening is the key to preventing colon cancer.

It is important to talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms, personal history, family history, and risk factors. Based on your age and history, your doctor may recommend colorectal screenings, including a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables the doctor, usually a gastroenterologist, to evaluate the inside of the large intestine (the colon). During the colonoscopy, the doctor examines the colon for any abnormalities, including growths or polyps (which are often precursors to cancer). A colonoscopy screening has the potential to detect and even prevent colorectal cancer because polyps can be identified and removed.

Source: RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group

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