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Toronto— In the month of March, the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, experts are reminding Canadians of the importance of screening to support improved health outcomes. While the statistics surrounding colorectal cancer are daunting – one in 13 men, and one in 16 women will develop the disease in their lifetime, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada with approximately 24,000 new diagnoses each year – it is highly treatable if detected early. In fact, colorectal cancer is over 90 per cent preventable with screening. Also Read - Are You at High Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer? High BP Pills May Help You

Across Ontario, hospital wait times for colonoscopies are increasing, with patients having to wait longer, and longer for screening. To support improved colon cancer outcomes, more emphasis needs to be placed on screening and early detection. Enter Canadian Place Endoscopy. Also Read - Aspirin Can Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk, Its Natural Alternatives May Also Help

As a leader of excellence in digestive health screening, Canadian Place Endoscopy encourages coordinated health care within the community through access to a network of certified medical experts.

According to Cancer Care Ontario, it is recommended that all Ontarians aged 50 and over be screened for colorectal cancer. There are a variety options for colorectal cancer, which include a stool test every two years, or a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is advised for those at increased risk because of a strong family history (parent, sibling or child with colorectal cancer),v inherited conditions, or inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).

Dr. Sundeep Rai, a surgeon and medical director at Canadian Place Endoscopy, strongly advises early screening to avoid future complications.

Interview with Dr. Sundeep Rai

Is there any particular group that is most at risk to colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer affects patients with a strong family history of colon cancer, or polyps. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease. For reasons unknown, Ontario has one of the highest incidence of colon cancer in the world. Having said that, some patients present without family history and unfortunately have a cancer diagnosis.

Colonoscopy has got a bad image as a very painful procedure?

Colonoscopy is a very safe, and comfortable procedure. Patients are given sedation during the procedure, and find it very comfortable. Most patients dislike the bowel preparation process which is really the most challenging part of the whole process. Often during the procedure we have to pump air into the colon to maneuver through and some patients find this a little uncomfortable once the sedation wears off.

Is there a healthy diet that we can follow to avoid it?

There is no proven diet to prevent colon cancer; however, it is generally accepted that a high fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is healthy for the colon.