This week on the Community Affairs Show Cheryl Jackson talks to Dr. Dominique Howard of Capital Digestive Care about the Importance of Colorectal Health.
The world was saddened recently when beloved actor Chadwick Boseman lost his battle with this colorectal cancer at the age of 43. Even though most colon cancer cases are diagnosed in adults 50 or older, we are unfortunately seeing an increase in colorectal cancer deaths in younger patients. The rise in colon cancer among younger people has prompted experts to lower the recommended age of colon cancer screening to 45 for the general population and even younger for those in at-risk populations.
Lifestyle factors may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer which include; lack of regular physical activity, low fruit and vegetable intake, a low-fiber and high-fat diet, overweight and obesity, alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable. This is because colonoscopies can find pre-cancerous polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum) so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
African-Americans are under-screened when it comes to colon cancer and the disease tends to be more aggressive in African-American patients. Capital Digestive Care is spearheading an initiative to target this part of our population with a Saturday Colon Cancer Screening event. Dr. Howards says, “During the pandemic, we are not only taking every precaution in terms of infection control and social distancing, we are also testing patients for COVID-19 before procedures to ensure the health of patients and staff. Lifesaving colon cancer screening remains a priority for a large segment of our population and should not be delayed due to COVID-19.”
To address these situations Capital Digestive Care is offering colonoscopies to the those who are uninsured and “self-pay” at two of our locations on March 20th from 8:00am-12:00pm:
Chevy Chase Endoscopy Center:5530 Wisconsin Avenue, suite 500, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
Fallsgrove Endoscopy Center: 15001 Shady Grove Road, suite 400, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Patients should call 240-737-0085 to be scheduled. Log on to https://www.capitaldigestivecare.com/ for more information.
About Dr. Dominique Howard:
Dominique Howard, MD completed her undergraduate education at Georgetown University in 1993, and her Doctor of Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 1997. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at George Washington University Medical Center in 2000, and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at George Washington University Medical Center in 2003. Dr. Howard is Board Certified in Gastroenterology. She is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. She is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She serves on the medical staffs of George Washington University Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Howard’s professional interests include colorectal cancer screening, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and diseases of the pancreas and gallbladder.
About Capital Digestive Care:
As a leader in our specialty and in our community, Capital Digestive Care’s commitment to our patients extends beyond our office doors. Since 2009 we have supported the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as the presenting sponsor for the National Capital Area Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk, directing almost $350,000 in support of critical education, research, and awareness programs. Most recently, Capital Digestive Care has partnered with the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and the Cigna Foundation on a unique community outreach program. The program, aptly titled HAIR for Health Advocates In-reach and Research, trains barbers and stylists to deliver critical health information on colon cancer and colon cancer screening to African Americans.