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Governor Deal declares March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

May 2015
Governor Deal declares March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

In February 2000, President Clinton declared March to be National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month; many activities and public seminars are held locally and nationally to improve public awareness of this cancer. However, although colorectal cancer is an easily preventable, detectable, and treatable malignancy, it still remains a major problem: among cancers that affect both men and women, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the entire country, including Georgia.

Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan, an adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine of Emory University School of Medicine and a practicing gastroenterologist in Lawrenceville, requested Governor Nathan Deal to bring more awareness to Georgia by declaring March 2015 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Georgia. Dr. Indrakrishnan, current president of Georgia Association of Physician of Indian Heritage (GAPI) is particularly interested in the prevention of colorectal cancer; he is on the Board of Directors of Fight Colorectal Cancer, the leading (nonprofit) national cancer advocacy organization, which offers support for patients, family members, and caregivers, and serves as a resource for advocates, policy makers, medical professionals, and healthcare providers. Dr. Indrakrishnan was invited by NASDAQ in March last year to ring the opening bell to honor the organization and increase awareness of colorectal cancer among the public.

Governor Deal thanked Dr. Indrakrishnan for his tireless dedication and formally made the proclamation on February 18th declaring March 2015 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

More than 90% of colorectal cancer patients can be cured if detected early enough by colonoscopy. The compliance for colon cancer screening by colonoscopy is poor, particularly among Indians, hence it remains the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the country. The cancer usually develops from a benign growth called a polyp, on the lining of the colon, the large bowel. The polyp grows larger and eventually becomes cancer. Colonoscopy—a painless outpatient procedure done under light anesthesia—can detect and remove these polyps. Colonoscopy is recommended to everyone starting at the age of 50 as part of the physical but sooner if any high risks or warning symptoms or signs are found. These include rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, incomplete evacuation of stool, rectal pain, abdominal pain, bloating, anemia, feeling of tiredness/lethargy, or family history of colon cancer or personal history of colitis/Crohn’s disease. Removal of polyps by colonoscopy is the key in the prevention of colon cancer.

Website Bonus Feature

“COLON CANCER (Part I)” by Indran B. Krishnan, M.D., December 2004

“Colorectal Cancer (Part II)” by Indran B. Krishnan, M.D., January 2005

“COLORECTAL CANCER (Part III)” by Indran B. Krishnan, M.D., February 2005

“Asians are underutilizing cancer screening tests,” provided by Gulshan Harjee, M.D., June 2012

“NASDAQ invites Dr. Indrakrishnan for Colon Cancer Awareness Month,” May 2013

“Colon Cancer: Why Screening is Important” By Kavitha Gopal, M.D., June 2014

[This report appeared for only part of April, so also appears in May.]

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