One big problem surrounding early detection of bladder cancer, Ayon added, is that screening for the disease is a more difficult proposition compared to other cancers. Also complicating efforts at prevention and early detection is the fact that the disease is largely asymptomatic in the early stages.
Still, this form of cancer isn’t without early warning signs. Although the early onset of bladder cancer tends to be painless, patients who suffer from frequent, never-ending bladder infections should, in the least, consider such infections a possible sign of an underlying health problem.
Blood in the urine without accompanying pain is an even bigger red flag regarding bladder cancer – perhaps the most significant of all, in fact, Ayon added. Patients in the early stage of bladder cancer also tend to experience severe weight loss.
In regards to colon cancer, bloody stools, abdominal pain and changing bowel habits (repeated fluctuations between diarrhea and constipation) are all warning signs. Patients, Ayon said, should begin having regular colonoscopies – the procedure to screen for the disease – at age 50.
Moreover, eating a healthy diet can have a pronounced impact on the risk for colon cancer. People should eat less red meat in general, Ayon advised, because anecdotal evidence has suggested a link between increased red-meat intake and an increased risk of colon cancer.
Another important factor in early detection and prevention, Ayon further noted, is the team approach to care doctors at DCMH practice, with OB/GYNs, PCPs and specialists working in conjunction to communicate and consult regarding each patient’s best course of care and treatment.
Lynzee McDowell, DCMH marketing and communications manager, who also sat in on Ayon’s interview, stressed that the types of screening Ayon mentioned are all available at DCMH. In fact, she added, DCMH offers some of the latest and most advanced screening tools in healthcare.