4 Tips to protect your colon

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States, and the third leading cause of cancer death. Colorectal cancer develops in the colon or rectum, and grows slowly. In 2014, there will be an estimated 141,000 new colorectal cancer cases in the United States and 49,000 related deaths.  But colorectal cancer is preventable and curable when detected early. Here are my top four tips to help lower your risks for colorectal cancer. Tip 1: Get screened for colorectal cancer Screening remains the most important method to prevent colorectal cancer. People at average risk, age 50 and older, should get a colonoscopy every 10 years. A colonoscopy enables your doctor to detect potentially cancer-causing lesions or polyps early, and remove them. Tip 2: Don’t be afraid of the exam  Patients shouldn’t fear a colonoscopy. It’s a straight-forward procedure which doesn’t, in most cases, cause discomfort. It also has a very low complication rate. And, knowing what is going on in your colon could save your life. Tip 3: Prep the right way for a colonoscopy      Most people complain about the laxative preparation.  It requires that you drink a large volume of liquid that generally doesn’t taste very good. However, we now split the liquid into two doses. You drink one the night before the exam and the second four to six hours before the exam. And, there have been efforts at improving the taste. The laxative procedure is very important. It ensures that your colon is completely clean for your exam. And, a clean colon means your doctor can spend...

Phase I clinical trial gives renal cell carcinoma survivor life

Because of his father’s prostate cancer history, Carl “Travis” Klimitchek always made health screenings a priority. But he didn’t expect his doctor to spot blood in his urine during a 2005 checkup. “I told him, ‘You’ve got to have my stuff mixed up with somebody else,’” says Travis, who was 44 at the time. A CT scan and X-ray revealed a grapefruit-sized tumor on his left kidney. His doctor diagnosed him with renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. “I was shocked,” Travis says. “I hadn’t noticed any symptoms.” Choosing MD Anderson for renal cell carcinoma treatment Within a week, Travis had surgery to remove the tumor and kidney in Victoria, Texas. Tests revealed a spot on his lungs, but the doctor suggested it was only scar tissue. That’s when Travis decided to seek a second opinion. He’d heard MD Anderson was the place to go for cancer treatment, and it wasn’t far from his home in Hallettsville, Texas. Within 10 days, he had his first appointment. At MD Anderson, Travis began renal cell carcinoma treatment under Nizar Tannir, M.D. “He was very professional,” Travis says. “He didn’t sugar-coat anything, and he encouraged us to ask questions.” After further testing, Travis learned the spot on his left lung was cancer. Dr. Tannir started him on the oral chemo drug Sorafenib. The next summer, he switched to Sunitinib. Then, in September 2006, Travis had surgery to remove six nodules on his lung. Travis’ chemotherapy side effects Over the next three years, Travis tried more chemotherapy drugs – Afinitor, Gemzar, Xeloda, Avastin and Velcade. The cancer continued to...

Phase I clinical trial gives renal cell carcinoma survivor life

Because of his father’s prostate cancer history, Carl “Travis” Klimitchek always made health screenings a priority. But he didn’t expect his doctor to spot blood in his urine during a 2005 checkup. “I told him, ‘You’ve got to have my stuff mixed up with somebody else,’” says Travis, who was 44 at the time. A CT scan and X-ray revealed a grapefruit-sized tumor on his left kidney. His doctor diagnosed him with renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. “I was shocked,” Travis says. “I hadn’t noticed any symptoms.” Choosing MD Anderson for renal cell carcinoma treatment Within a week, Travis had surgery to remove the tumor and kidney in Victoria, Texas. Tests revealed a spot on his lungs, but the doctor suggested it was only scar tissue. That’s when Travis decided to seek a second opinion. He’d heard MD Anderson was the place to go for cancer treatment, and it wasn’t far from his home in Hallettsville, Texas. Within 10 days, he had his first appointment. At MD Anderson, Travis began renal cell carcinoma treatment under Nizar Tannir, M.D. “He was very professional,” Travis says. “He didn’t sugar-coat anything, and he encouraged us to ask questions.” After further testing, Travis learned the spot on his left lung was cancer. Dr. Tannir started him on the oral chemo drug Sorafenib. The next summer, he switched to Sunitinib. Then, in September 2006, Travis had surgery to remove six nodules on his lung. Travis’ chemotherapy side effects Over the next three years, Travis tried more chemotherapy drugs – Afinitor, Gemzar, Xeloda, Avastin and Velcade. The cancer continued to...