Norton practice promotes colon cancer screenings

By Cheryl Powell
Beacon Journal medical writer

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Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, president of Summit Gastroenterology Associates Inc., sits in one of the company's two procedure rooms in Norton, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

A local physician practice is trying to raise awareness about the importance of screening tests for colon cancer.

Summit Gastroenterology Associates Inc. in Norton is hosting a free Awareness and Screening for Colon Cancer event from 5 to 8 p.m. March 1 at the practice at 3939 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

The health fair is in honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

“It’s a preventable cancer,” said Dr. Ghulam Mir, president of Summit Gastroenterology Associates. “Most of the colon cancers arise from benign polyps. If we were to screen everybody, colon cancer would be prevented and the risk of advanced colon cancer would be reduced substantially.”

The event will feature educational exhibits and hors d’oeuvres.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually. More than 50,000 people die each year from the disease.

Screening colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for everyone 50 and older, when more than 90 percent of cases occur. Tests are done more frequently for people who have precancerous polyps removed.

Some patients who are a higher risk because of family history or certain health conditions also should talk with their doctor about being tested at a younger age or more frequently, Mir said.

Most insurance plans cover the screenings, he said.

“It saves lives and also, in the long run, saves health-care dollars,” Mir said.

For more information about the event, call 330-753-6643.

Free senior fair

The Tallmadge Church of the Nazarene and Hospice of the Western Reserve are co-sponsoring a free senior health fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the church, 191 S. Munroe Road.

The event will feature information about available senior resources, a flu shot clinic, free blood pressure screenings, sessions about the benefits of music and guided imagery and advice from a pharmacist and dietician.

Entertainment and giveaways also will be offered.

Medicines and pregnancy

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released online tools to help expectant women determine which medications can be safely used during pregnancy.

According to the federal agency, more than 90 percent of women use at least one medicine during pregnancy.

The CDC shared these tips for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant:

• Talk to your doctor about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and dietary or herbal supplements you are taking or thinking about taking.

• Don’t stop or start taking any medicine without talking with your health-care provider.

• Don’t rely on information you find online; discuss your findings with your health-care provider first.

To learn more about medication use during pregnancy, visit the CDC’s Medications and Pregnancy webpage: www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/meds/index.html.

Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or cpowell@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.


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