The Oregon Medical Group specialist physicians in gastroenterology are interested in your stomach and gastrointestinal problems. Stomach upsets, bowel problems and other irritations of the digestive system are their key interest - that's what makes them particularly qualified to talk with you about your borborygmus (that's the technical word for those rumblings in your belly).
Our gastroenterologists are also intent on preventive care that includes regular screening for colon cancer. Colonoscopies are a reliable process for colon cancer screening and we encourage our patients to visit for regular preventive care.
Gastroenterology services are available at the following Oregon Medical Group clinic(s):
Gateway Medical Center » View Clinic Information.
Maps & Directions
Colon Cancer and Colon Cancer Screening
Here are some statistics you may find important to know:
- An estimated 670 people will die from colorectal cancer in Oregon this year alone
- Nearly 147,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2009
- 6% of men and women will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime
- 1 in 3 over age 50 will have polyps
- Colon polyps have no symptoms in most cases
- Colon cancer often occurs without symptoms until later stages
- Currently only 50% of Oregonians have had screening
The colon is the part of digestive system where the waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. Together, they form a long, muscular tube called the large intestine (also known as the large bowel). Tumors of the colon and rectum are growths arising from the inner wall of the large intestines.
Colonoscopy is the single best test for colon cancer screening and allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon). The goal is not only to look for colon cancer, but to find and remove polyps at the time of the exam. Removing these polyps is the most effective way to prevent colon cancer.
The National Polyp Study has shown that polyp removal with colonoscopy surveillance program can reduce the risk for colon cancer by up to 90%.
Colon cancer generally does not have symptoms until later stages. Symptoms can include spotty rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, vague abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or laboratory disturbance such as anemia. These symptoms are not specific or reliable, so waiting until they occur before deciding to have a colonoscopy is not recommended. Besides, a late diagnosis can dramatically impact chance for survival.
Please call your primary care provider to schedule your annual physical and discuss a referral for a colonoscopy if you have not yet had one. You may also call our office if you have questions about your initial visit at our Gastroenterology clinic. If you have already had your screening colonoscopy, ask your provider when you should get another one.
Colon prep takes 1 to 2 days, depending on which type of prep your doctor recommends. Some preps may be taken the evening before the test. For many people, the prep for a colonoscopy is more trying than the actual test. Plan to stay home during your prep time since you will need to use the bathroom often. The colon prep causes loose, frequent stools and diarrhea so that your colon will be empty for the test. The colon prep may be uncomfortable and you may feel hungry on the clear liquid diet. If you need to drink a special solution as part of your prep, be sure to have clear fruit juices or soft drinks to drink after the prep because the solution can taste unpleasant.
Additional Patient Education Links
Preparation for Procedures & Exams
Colonoscopy Preparation & Instructions:
Upper Endoscopy Procedure:
Conditions & Treatments
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Upper Endoscopy
Frequently Asked Questions
Eating too much or bending forward after eating sometimes causes heartburn and a sour taste in your mouth. But having heartburn from time to time doesn't mean you have GERD. With GERD, the reflux and heartburn last longer and come more often. If this happens to you, it is important to treat it, because GERD can cause ulcers and damage to the esophagus.
If you have pain behind your breastbone, it is important to make sure it is not caused by a problem with your heart. The burning sensation caused by GERD usually occurs after you eat. Pain from the heart usually feels like pressure, heaviness, weight, tightness, squeezing, discomfort, or a dull ache. It occurs most often after you are active.
- Change your eating habits.
- It's best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals.
- After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good idea.
- Chocolate, mint, and alcohol can make GERD worse; they relax the valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
- Spicy foods, foods that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make GERD symptoms worse in some people. If your symptoms are worse after you eat a certain food, you may want to stop eating that food to see if your symptoms get better.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
- If you get heartburn at night, raise the head of your bed 6 in (15 cm) to 8 in (20 cm) by putting the frame on blocks or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress. (Adding extra pillows does not work.)
- Do not wear tight clothing around your middle. Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can help.