Tag Archive for: cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is More Than Pink

Breast cancer and the color pink go hand-in-hand during October. But there’s so much more to breast cancer awareness and NOAH wants you and your loved ones to be aware about breast cancer risks, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and more.

Breast Cancer Awareness Fast Facts:

  • Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but according to the American Cancer Society, men can get breast cancer too.
  • Breast cancer is often (though not always) detected by a lump in the breast. However, most lumps in the breast are benign (not cancerous), but ALL lumps should be checked by your provider.
  • There are different kinds of breast cancer that start in different areas of the breast.
  • Alcohol increases the risk of developing breast cancer. An average of 1 drink per day increases risk by 7-10% while 2 to 3 drinks per day increases risk by 20%!
  • Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are the best things to do to prevent breast cancer. This is especially true for women after menopause.
  • Mammograms and breast ultrasounds are the most commonly used, and the most effective screening tool available to detect breast cancer early.
  • There is little to no benefit of doing self-breast exams or clinical breast exams, but women should still be alert and see a provider if anything looks or feels different.

Treatments for breast cancer will vary depending on the type of breast cancer and when it is diagnosed. At NOAH, we want to work with you to keep a healthy lifestyle, focus on prevention, answer any questions you have, support you through a diagnosis, and help you during treatment.

To learn more about breast cancer risks, types, treatments, and more, check out the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer section. To talk with your NOAH provider about any questions you have, request an appointment today.

Colorectal Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Detection

March is colorectal cancer awareness month and “It’s Our Job to Save Your Butt!” In all seriousness though, colorectal cancer is the fourth most diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society the overall lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 (4.3%) for men and 1 in 25 (4%) for women. The good news is that if caught early nine out of ten people diagnosed will survive.

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

  • Age 45 or older
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Certain types of diets
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Personal history of inflammatory intestinal conditions

How to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Screening

NOAH providers recommend people at average risk for colorectal cancer begin regular screenings at age 45. How often you get screened depends on the type of test you get.

Here’s a look at how the different options at NOAH stack up:


(Often Covered in Full)
Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)Stool sample collected at home and mailed to a lab for testingLooks for blood in the stool.NoneEvery yearLeast expensive
Cologuard TestStool sample collected at home and mailed to a lab for testingLike the FIT test, looks for blood in the stool but also checks DNA in the stool for abnormal (possibly cancerous) cells NoneEvery 3 yearsMore expensive than FIT test but less expensive than a colonoscopy
ColonoscopyVisual screening performed in a hospital or specialized clinicChecks for polyps (small growths in the colon or rectum) that may be cancerous or pre-cancerousRequires bowel prep before the procedure and anesthesia duringEvery 10 yearsMost expensive

Talk with your provider about which type of test is right for you. Then, be sure to follow through with your testing, understand your results and even schedule a reminder on the calendar for your next screening.   

Questions? Ask away, we don’t mind because it’s our job to save you’re butt! Request an appointment today!

Fiber and Your Colorectal Health

By Stephanie Olzinski, MS, RDN |Nutrition Supervisor

Fiber is an important nutrient. But why is it important and what can we eat for more fiber are common questions.

Simply put, fiber helps keep us ‘regular’ going to the bathroom more frequently. That is a good thing! When we are regular, stool spends less time in the large intestine. That means less chance of harmful bacteria or carcinogens (substance capable of causing cancer) building up. In a study, The American Medical Association found that when 1,500 patients with early-stage colorectal cancer began eating more fiber-rich foods, it reduced their risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 20%!

Good Sources of Fiber

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains or whole wheat products like wheat bread and wheat pasta

A good tip for determining what foods are a good source of fiber is to read the nutrition facts label on products. Grab a package of bread at your house or the next time you’re in the grocery store – if the line for fiber says one serving contains at least three grams of fiber per serving, then it’s a good source of fiber. You can also look for 100% whole wheat as the first ingredient. 

Daily Fiber Intake

Fiber recommendations are different for everyone depending on age and any other medical conditions. In general, achieving an intake of over 20 grams of fiber per day is recommended. Start by trying to add just one extra fiber source daily, like switching to oatmeal for breakfast or adding a larger serving of vegetables at dinner. Not only does a gradual approach make it easier to adapt to new eating habits over time, introducing fiber into your diet slowly prevents bloating and cramping sometimes associated with increased fiber intake.

Kickstart your new eating habits with these tasty, fiber-rich, recipes:

Pozole Verde with Chicken

Pozole Verde with Chicken - A Good Source of Fiber

Hominy is a product of corn and is considered a grain. Low in fat and high in fiber, it has a similar taste to corn though the texture is much different. A main staple in Mexican cuisine, hominy is highlighted in this flavorful soup. We’ve taken it to another level by using chicken instead of the traditional pork shoulder. Also, add in those veggies for an added nutrition benefit and this hearty soup will be a crowd pleaser on any table.

Summer Black Bean and Rice Salad

Summer Black Bean and Rice Salad - Good Source of Fiber

This cold salad is perfect for a warm spring day! It’s packed with protein, high in fiber and delicious flavors that will rock your taste buds. Make this dish ahead of time and keep refrigerated until it’s time to serve! Make this recipe even more fiber-rich by choosing brown rice over white.

Avo-Mango Smoothie

Avo Mango Smoothie - Good Source of Fiber

The bright flavors of the mango and the creaminess of the avocado and banana is a perfect match. Plus you get some amazing health benefits from this smoothie that make it a yummy treat for anyone!

Drink Plenty of Water

Speaking of helping things move through your digestive tract, it is extremely important to drink more water once you start increasing your fiber intake. Constipation can be an unwelcome side-effect of consuming fiber without being sufficiently hydrated. Most people require a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. You can use the same gradual method here and start by drinking one extra glass or bottle of water each day. It can also be fun to get a special water bottle for yourself, or set a reminder on your phone to remember to take a few extra sips of water throughout the day.

While making just a couple adjustments to your diet can impact your colorectal (and overall) health; there are many other factors like age, family history… that contribute to your risk of colorectal cancer. The next step after prevention is detection. If you are age 50 or older and at average risk for colorectal cancer, NOAH providers recommend you begin your regular screenings now.  It just might save your butt.

Understand Lung Cancer

By Olivia Wong, DO Family Medicine Resident PGY-1

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for men and women. About 218,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and sadly about 142,000 people die from the disease each year.

The Facts About Lung Cancer

Risk Factors:

  • Smoking is the most common cause (Approximately 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer)
  • Secondhand smoke, family history of lung cancers, history of breast or chest radiation therapy
  • Exposures to: radon, soot, tar, asbestos, nickel, chromium, arsenic

Lung Cancer Screening:

  • According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, they recommend screening with low-dose CT scan in individuals who meet all of the below criteria:
    • Adults 50 – 80 years old
    • 20 pack-year smoking history (pack-year calculation: number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day x number of years the person has smoked)
    • Those who currently smoke OR have quite within the past 15 years.


  • Symptoms vary among different people. However, many don’t experience any symptoms until advanced stages of lung cancer

What Can You Do About Lung Cancer?

  • Do not start smoking
  • Quit if you smoke

There are many health benefits no matter what age you quit, how long you have smoked, or how much you have smoked.

Health Benefits of Quitting:

  • Within minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure improve
  • 24 – 48 Hours – Your nicotine levels in the body drops to zero and lungs start to clear mucus and debris
  • 1-12 Months – Your cough and breathing improves
  • 1 – 2 years – Your risk of heart attack decreases
  • 3 – 6 years – Your added risk of coronary artery disease decreases by half
  • 5 – 10 years – Your added risk of mouth and throat cancers decrease by half and your added risk of stroke decreases
  • 10 -15 years – Your added risk of lung cancer decreases by half
  • 15 years – Your risk of coronary heart disease decreases to be that of someone who does not smoke
  • 20 years – Your risk of mouth and throat cancers decreases to be that of someone who does not smoke

For help quitting, make an appointment with your NOAH provider, visit cdc.gov/quit, call 1 (800) QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or text “QUIT” to 47848. We are here to help you!

Understanding Colorectal Cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Around 150,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2021. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US for men and women combined. The more we understand this disease, the better chance of catching it early and beating it.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is cancer in the colon, rectum, or both. It can be diagnosed as bowel cancer, rectal cancer, or colon cancer. A majority of this type of cancer first develops as abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum. These growths can become cancerous later if they aren’t removed.

Who gets it?

The American Cancer Society estimate that about 1 in 21 men and 1 in 23 women in the United States will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. People who get a form of this cancer are typically – but definitely not always – diagnosed between the ages of 63 and 72.

Black Americans are at a 20 percent greater risk of developing colon, bowel, or rectal cancer. The devastating reality is that Black Americans are 40 percent more likely to die from it as well.

What causes colorectal cancer?

There are many causes or risk factors. Some may be connected to other health conditions and diseases resulting from long-term health disparities in different communities. Some risk factors include:

  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Intestinal conditions like colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Obesity
  • Smoking or heavy alcohol use

How to recognize signs and symptoms?

There are several consistent signs that something may be wrong with a person’s bowel, colon, or rectum.

  • Regular or constant stomach discomfort including pain, gas, bloating, or cramps
  • Occasional or regular changes in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in stool

When to see a doctor?

Earlier is ALWAYS better. The sooner a problem is identified the better the outcome, and that’s the same whether it is abnormal growths in the colon, or if it has become cancer. These symptoms may indicate colorectal cancer, or it can indicate a number of other health conditions that need medical attention.

However, these cancers can develop with no symptoms at all. This is why screenings and regular check-ups with your medical provider are so important. If you have any concerns, talk to your NOAH healthcare provider.

The Importance of Colon Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. It almost always develops from precancerous polyps (or abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Such polyps can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. Screening can help identify these polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Read more