Did you know colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer? If detected early, it's also one of the most treatable. A colonoscopy provides the finest in screening because it can both detect and remove polyps before they can turn into colon cancer. Cleveland Clinic colorectal surgeon James Church, MD, will provide answers to your questions about colonoscopy before, during, and after your procedure. Learn about what you need to do to prepare, time constraints, discomfort levels, side effects, and so much more. You also will find out who needs to have a colonoscopy and what the higher risk factors are for colon cancer. For example, some factors that can increase your risk include: a personal or family history of precancerous colon polyps or colon cancer; being age 50 or older (age 45 or older if African-American); being overweight; being a smoker; and having ulcerative colitis or Crohn's colitis. Be sure to see your doctor if you have gastrointestinal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, unexplained abdominal pain, or unintentional weight loss. These may all be signs of colorectal cancer.
James M. Church, MD is a Staff member in the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been Director of the David G. Jagelman Inherited Colon Cancer Registries and Head of the Section of Endoscopy at Cleveland Clinic since 1989. Dr. Church’s specialty interests include all aspects of colorectal cancer and polyps, molecular genetics of colorectal diseases, functional colorectal and anal problems including constipation and incontinence, perianal and perineal infections and inflammatory bowel disease.
He currently is Co-Investigator of the Collaborative Colorectal Cancer Family Registry, funded by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute. He also is Co-Investigator of a study examining the usefulness of CT colonoscopy in detecting colorectal polyps.
Dr. Church has been named to the Good Housekeeping magazine Top Cancer Doctors for Women list (1999), Top Doctors in America (1999-2008) and Who's Who in America (2000-2008).
He is actively involved in many scientific and medical societies. He is Past Chairman of the Leeds Castle Polyposis Group and the International Collaborative Group on Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer and current President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer. These international societies are dedicated to the care of patients with inherited colorectal cancer and research into their disease.
Dr. Church is Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, Costa Rican Society of Surgery, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, American College of Gastroenterology, American Surgical Association and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.
A frequent national and international lecturer at scientific meetings, Dr. Church has authored more than 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 22 book chapters on hereditary cancers, endoscopy and molecular genetics of colorectal tumors. He is the author of two medical textbooks and has been Co-Editor of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum since 2000.
He received his degree from Auckland University School of Medicine in New Zealand, where he also completed several postgraduate research fellowships. In addition, Dr. Church completed a special fellowship in the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.