Thursday, March 16, 2017

The New Face of Colorectal Cancer Could Be Yours

Too young for cancer? Think again. It’s true that most new colorectal cancer diagnoses occur in people 50 or older, which is why organizations like the CDC and American Cancer Society recommend routine colonoscopies to screen for it beginning at that age. But, as you may have seen in the headlines recently, cases are increasing in young adults.

A Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) study found that colon cancer rates among people age 20-39 are increasing 1-2.4% per year. The incidence of colon cancer in people 40-49 is increasing more rapidly than for any other age group. Some physicians and researchers believe this alarming trend could be the result of poor diet, inactive lifestyle and simply not knowing the risk factors for or symptoms of colorectal cancer. Watch Robert Donegan, MD, medical oncologist at GBMC, discuss this topic on ABC2 News.

You are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer if you:
  • have a family history of colorectal cancer
  • have a history of colorectal cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease yourself
  • are African American or Jewish of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi)
  • have type 2 diabetes
  • smoke
  • drink alcohol heavily
  • are overweight or obese
  • are physically inactive
  • consume a diet high in red meat and processed meat
  • have a certain genetic condition (such as Lynch syndrome, Turcot syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome)

Physicians want you to know that, regardless of your age,
  • there are no early warning symptoms of colon cancer or polyps. Screening before symptoms begin gives the best opportunity to prevent cancer by detecting and removing the pre-cancerous polyps. Detecting cancer during screening tests greatly increases the chance that the cancer is in a curable stage. 
  • once symptoms occur, if there is a cancer, it is more likely to be a more advanced cancer, and is less likely to be curable
  • symptoms that should warrant an investigation at any age include:
    • Persistent, significant change in bowel function (diarrhea or constipation)
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Persistent abdominal pain
    • Rapid, unexplained weight loss and new onset fatigue (It’s important to note that these may be features of advanced cancer from any source and are not specific to colorectal cancer.)
If any of the risk factors apply to you, or if you experience one or more of the symptoms listed above, take action! Talk to your primary care physician about the different types of colorectal cancer screenings and find out which one is best for you. When colorectal cancer is detected early, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy can provide effective treatment!

We also encourage you to join us for a Facebook Live on Thursday, March 23 at 10 a.m. GBMC Gastroenterologist Dr. Niraj Jani and ABC2's Ashley James will take questions on digestive disorders. You can click here to submit a question in advance.

Take a Little Time for You!

GBMC invites the men and women of our community to focus on their own health and wellbeing by attending Time for Me!, a FREE health lecture series taking place in April. Connect with our GBMC physicians and medical experts as they offer practical information and advice on the prevention, treatment and management of the most common health issues.

Topics will include genetic health risks, shoulder pain prevention and treatment, caring for your voice as you age and solutions for dizziness, imbalance and falls.

All events are held at GBMC in the Civiletti Conference Center from 6:30 p.m. until approximately 8 p.m. There is no cost to participate and all attendees will receive a special gift and a complimentary parking pass. We also encourage you to bring along family and friends!

For more information, call 443-849-GBMC (4262) or visit

Wear Red Day

If you visit GBMC on March 22, you may find yourself seeing red – from the lights in our main corridors and cafeteria to our decked-out employees. Wear Red Day serves as the official kickoff for our second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. Please join us in sporting red, a power color that represents energy and determination, to take a stand against rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a one-mile walk on GBMC's campus on Saturday, April 22. The event raises money for our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence programs, while shifting perspectives about these often-stigmatized issues. Our SAFE and DV programs provide free confidential services that are available to everyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nurses and advocates perform detailed medical-forensic examinations, collect evidence, and testify in court, but most importantly, they treat survivors with compassion and respect.

Get involved by posting pictures of yourself decked out in red to social media using #GBMCWalkaMile and register for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes by clicking here. If you fundraise $200 by March 21, you'll earn a choice of either red high heels or red Converse sneakers to walk in.

Spring Back from Sports Injuries!

In case you missed it, GBMC and WMAR ABC2News recently hosted an interactive Facebook Live event on the topics of spring sports injuries featuring physical therapist Christina Penny, DPT, OMPT, of Active Life Physical Therapy (a GBMC affiliate). Watch it on YouTube now.

Broccoli with Asian Tofu


1 pkg (16 oz) firm tofu, drained
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped or shredded (or 1 tsp ground)
1 lb fresh broccoli, rinsed and cut into individual spears
1 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
4 tbsp garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 cloves)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
cooking spray


1. Slice tofu into eight pieces. Place on a plate or flat surface covered with three paper towels. Top that with four more paper towels. Top with another flat plate or cutting board and press down evenly and gently to squeeze out the moisture. Throw away paper towels. Replace with fresh paper towels and press again. (The more liquid you remove, the more sauce the tofu will absorb).

2. Place tofu in a bowl just big enough to hold all eight pieces laying on their widest side without overlapping.

3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and ginger into a marinade, and stir thoroughly. Pour over tofu. Carefully turn the tofu several times to coat well. Set aside.

4. Heat a large nonstick saute pan coated with cooking spray. Add broccoli and saute for about 5 minutes, until it turns bright green and becomes tender and crispy. Remove broccoli from pan and set aside.

5. Heat a grill pan or flat saute pan over high heat. Drain tofu, reserving marinade. Place on grill pan to heat for about 3 minutes. Gently turn. Heat the second side for 3 minutes.

6. At the same time, in the saute pan over medium-low heat, warm the peanut oil, crushed red pepper, and garlic until the garlic softens and begins to turn brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broccoli and reserved marinade, and gently mix until well-coated.

7. Place two slices of tofu on each plate with one-quarter of the broccoli and marinade mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 4 servings, 2 slices of tofu with broccoli and marinade mixture
Calories: 183
Total Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 341 mg
Protein: 14 g
Carbohydrates: 13 g

Recipe from Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Health Dinners. Provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutde