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Colorectal cancer is considered largely preventable, and when treated early enough, very curable. The Colorectal Oncology Center at UM St. Joseph Medical Center, led by Surgical Director Howard Berg, MD, stresses the importance of screening to prevent and treat colorectal cancers.
'The center's staff, featuring gastroenterologists, medical and radiation oncologists, nurses are skilled in treating the most common to the most complex conditions. To keep your colon as healthy as possible and to lower your colon cancer risk, our experts recommend:
- Maintaining healthy weight
- Engage in physical activities
- Eat a diet high in fiber and low in red or processed meat
- Avoid tobacco
- Avoid alcohol
Live healthier today! Download our free Healthy Living Guide.
Colon Cancer Screenings
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center offers ongoing colon screenings in partnership with the Baltimore County Cancer Program. If you do not have insurance coverage or if you have high out-of-pocket costs for a colonoscopy, you may be eligible for assistance.
Regular colorectal cancer screenings, offered in our Digestive Disease Center, are recommended after age 45 by the American Cancer Institute. These screenings are vital for the early detection of colon cancer—and ensure that we can offer patients like Eula and Gary advanced, lifesaving care and treatment.
To learn more, please call the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-3456.
Learn more about additional cancer screening recommendations from the American Cancer Society.
Diagnosing Colon Cancer: What to Expect
To help you manage your colon health, your doctor will first review your medical history and give you a complete medical exam. Based on those findings, one or more of the following tests may be performed:
- Colonoscopy – The doctor uses an instrument called a colonoscope to view the lining of the large intestine, also called the bowel or colon
- Digital rectal exam – The doctor inserts his or her gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check for lumps or abnormalities
- X-ray – An X-ray may be taken, to check for polyps in the large intestine
- Fecal occult blood test – A small sample of the patient's stool is tested for the presence of blood
- Sigmoidoscopy – A flexible tube is inserted into the anus to check the inner lining of the rectum and the lower colon
- Endorectal ultrasound – A sterile probe is inserted into the rectum, which generates high-frequency sound waves. As these sound waves bounce off the body's tissues, they generate an image that the doctor can use to detect the presence of unusual growths (polyps or tumors)
- Surgical biopsy – A sample of abnormal tissue is removed from the colon and tested for cancer
Our Colorectal Specialists
Find a doctor that's right for you. UM St. Joseph's team of skilled colorectal experts is accepting patients.