At Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, our gastroenterology specialists are committed not only to treating gastrointestinal (GI) conditions but also to helping patients prevent serious GI issues, such as colorectal and esophageal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. This cancer may affect the large intestine or the end section of the colon.
Esophageal cancer is less common, affecting about 17,000 Americans each year. Esophageal cancer affects the hollow tube that carries food to your stomach to be digested. Men are three to four times more likely than women to develop this cancer.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for colorectal and esophageal cancers:
- Eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Substitute chicken and fish for red meat.
- Get at least 30 minutes of regular exercise every day.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Have a screening colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50, or age 40 if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.
- Ask your doctor about a screening esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) if you’re 40 or older and have had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms for a year or more.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush, floss and see your dentist regularly.
- Tell your doctor if you have difficulty or pain when swallowing.
To learn more, for help finding a physician or to schedule an appointment, call 1.800.3.ADVOCATE (1.800.323.8622). You can also find a physician and request an appointment online.