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To win against Colorectal Cancer, get that colonoscopy
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To win against Colorectal Cancer, get that colonoscopy

May 16, 2014
The Brooklyn Paper
www.BrooklynPaper.com

 

Even more than the embarrassment of the actual colonoscopy procedure, the fear of the unknown and denial are probably the hardest barriers to overcome for people who have never had it done.
Colorectal cancer, more commonly referred to as colon cancer, is the sec­ond biggest cause of cancer deaths and the third most common cancer found in men and women. Compared to other cancers, however, colon can­cer is easier to detect and treat, ac­cording to Robin Baradarian, MD, interventional gastroenterologist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, “because most colon cancers start off as non-cancerous growths called pol­yps.”
“Colonoscopy is a very simple, easy and effective test that is both di­agnostic and therapeutic at the same time. The test is absolutely painless and takes less than 20 minutes,” as­sured Dr. Baradarian. For most pa­tients, the worst part is the prepara­tion to cleanse the intestinal tract, which has actually become easier to take.
Nunzio Fusco, an architect with a family history of cancer, started hav­ing “stomach issues” years before a cancer lesion was found during a colonoscopy at age 37. He had sur­gery to remove a two-inch growth in his large intestine followed by chemo­therapy. Genetic testing afterwards revealed that a particular genetic se­quence indeed puts him at increased risk for colon cancer.
Convinced that early detection is the best way to beat colon cancer, he said, “I wish I had gotten myself checked when I was 30.”
One patient, 56, who asked to be identified as M.B., initially convinced herself that she had IBS—irritable bowel syndrome—like her sister when she spotted blood in her stool. After months of excuses to postpone yet another appointment, she could no longer rationalize her situation. A colonoscopy by Dr. Baradarian showed a suspicious growth and he recommended surgery.
“If I hadn’t waited, she said, “I might just have had a simple polyps removal during colonoscopy. I would not have had to go through major surgery and treatment. I would urge people not to wait if they feel there might be a problem.”
Gregory Kamenshchik, 66, is a criminal defense attorney in his na­tive Ukraine who has been a consul­tant in international law since com­ing to the U.S. in 1980. He has become an advocate of early screening for colorectal cancer and colonoscopy. “I tell everyone to go to Dr. Baradarian,” whom he calls his angel. “He did a colonoscopy and he has saved my life,” said the grateful patient.
“There is nothing to fear from a colonoscopy. I always tell my patients that the most frightening thing is not knowing what’s going on inside your body,” said Dr. Baradarian.





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