LITTLETON—March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, a disease that affects over 140,000 Americans annually. North Country Gastroenterology (NCG) is on a mission to reduce those numbers.
NCG’s Dr. Howard Mitz revealed, “Colon cancer can affect anyone, even if there’s no family history of it.” He continued, “Older people are more at risk, which is why we recommend screening every five years starting at the age of 50.”
According to the American Cancer Institute, screening is the most effective way to prevent colon cancer from developing further. Because early symptoms are minimal, it doesn’t take long before the cancer escalates.
Screening is performed through a colonoscopy, a virtually painless procedure that examines the inner lining of the large intestine and colon using a thin, flexible tube. Along with finding polyps and tumors, colonoscopies help doctors find ulcers and areas of inflammation or bleeding.
According to an article from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, it cites five articles stating that gastroenterologists are more effective than surgeons and primary care physicians at preventing colorectal cancer by colonoscopy. “We strive for a clinical setting that’s not intimidating,” explained Dr. Mitz. “While we utilize hospital grade equipment and are set-up like one, we’re located in a former residential home. When designing the office, we strived to maintain the building’s charm and comforts, which many of our patients have described as ‘homey.’”
NCG has also made the process of scheduling a colonoscopy hassle free through their open access program, which allows patients to be evaluated over the phone. Patients’ first appointment is their colonoscopy, which saves them time and money. NCG’s patient-first efforts are working.
Dr. Mitz estimates he has performed over 12,000 colonoscopy procedures throughout his career, and can perform several a day while keeping to an individual approach to each patient.
The staff at NCG works as a team, noted Dr. Mitz. They monitor the digital screen alongside him to ensure a thorough procedure. “We strive for accuracy, not quantity,” noted Dr. Mitz. We’re not a production line.”
For more information, visit https://www.ncgastronh.com/or call (603)444-0272.