Dr. Starpoli's Blog

So You Think You Have Constipation?

Posted by Rachel Jones on Mar 4, 2014 10:11:00 AM
Constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the USA.  
Not only does this result in a least 2.5 million doctor visits,but hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on laxatives each year! 
So what is constipation?  A bowel habit can be about consistency, frequency and about quality of an evacuation. Stools should not be too hard or soft and having a movement daily or every other day would be considered normal.  One should not have to have more than 1-2 movement in a day.
But what causes it? Factors include dehydration, a change in diet and inactivity or certain medications that we may be taking.  Some of these medications include narcotic pains pill and drugs used for high blood pressure and other cardiac conditions.
So, you have now been constipated for weeks.  Certainly look at your fluid and fiber intake, but if you think that you have had a real change in your bowel habits, talk to your doctor.
Personal and family history are important to know.  Having a first degree relative with colorectal cancer is very relevant and is a strong consideration when evaluating a patient with a change in bowel habits.  A simple stool test looking for hidden or occult blood may be appropriate, and, if positive, may warrant a camera inspection of the colon known as colonoscopy.  There are situations where colonoscopy should be performed more expeditiously.  Certainly, if there is rectal bleeding, some evaluation should take place.  Assuming that rectal bleeding is attributable to hemorrhoids is very risky as cancers can be present in this manner.
If you haven’t experienced constipation in a while or even ever, the following are some simple steps on prevention. Adequate fluid intake with 6-8 glasses of water daily and consuming up to 40 grams of soluble fiber is a good start. What about laxatives?  They should be used sparing and stimulants of the gastrointestinal tract should be avoided.There are a variety of agents and should be discussed with your health care professional.
One last point, even if you have no colon complaints, colonoscopy for colon cancer prevention should be offered to all average risk patients at age 50 and earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer or polyps. African Americans undergo screening at age 45.
For more information, please visit the American Cancer Society at: 

Topics: colon cancer

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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

screening, bowel difficulties, hemorrhoids, colonoscopy

Aspirin May Lower Risk of Colon Cancer - Risks and Benefits Must Be Weighed

Posted by Rachel Jones on Jul 16, 2013 12:18:00 PM
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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

colon cancer, dietary suggestions, screening

Study Finds Colonoscopy Safe and Effective

Posted by Rachel Jones on Mar 6, 2013 10:33:00 AM

ColoRectal Cancer Awareness Month

Study Finds Colonoscopy Safe and Effective- Read on:

Is a colonoscopy really safe?

If your 50 years of age or above, your doctor has probably advised it’s time for a colonoscopy. But concern about safety of colorectal cancer screening might prevent some people from having the test. To put the public’s fears to rest, German researchers studied adverse events linked to the procedure, finding very few safety concerns.

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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

colon cancer, colon polyps, high fiber, screening

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Rachel Jones on Mar 8, 2011 9:41:00 AM

March 2011 is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. In view of this, it is pertinent to review the facts about colorectal cancer, as well as certain contributing factors.

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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

colon cancer, colon polyps, screening

New, Noninvasive Screening Test May Detect 85% Of Colon Cancer Cases

Posted by Anthony Starpoli on Oct 30, 2010 12:37:00 PM

The CBS Evening News (10/28, story 11, 1:00, Couric) reported that "a new test that may one day make screening for colon cancer a lot easier." At present, about "40 percent of [the] Americans" who are "supposed to get colon screening" decide against it.

        The reasons people shy away from the procedure vary, but many find the pre-procedure bowel preparation unpleasant, according to Reuters (10/29, Fox). Some also find the procedure itself embarrassing and uncomfortable, while others worry about the potential for injury.

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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

colon cancer, colon polyps, cancer screening, screening

Phone Reminders May Boost Colon Cancer Screenings

Posted by Rachel Jones on Oct 13, 2010 4:10:00 PM

Have you ever wondered why some providers offices call so many times to remind you to schedule an appointment? Our office does this monthly, in order to ensure that our patients obtain the needed testing to diagnose and treat certain dangerous conditions, such as colon cancer. A recent article published in HealthDay bore out that this is an effective and essential way to encourage patients to keep on their treatment.

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Anthony A. Starpoli, MD | www.starpoli.com

colon cancer, cancer screening, screening