April 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Webinar: Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Outreach and Introduction to Physicians

(Courtesy of SMGH) St. Mary’s General Hospital will conduct a webinar on gastrointestinal (GI) oncology outreach and an introduction of St. Mary’s general oncologists (cancer specialists) and gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in digestive disorders) to the community.

The GI oncology department is a multidisciplinary team of highly specialized physicians who treat gastrointestinal malignancies, including cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder, pancreas, large and small bowel, stomach, esophagus and rare tumors. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality patient care by providing the most advanced medical therapies, with the goal of improving survival and quality of life.

“As we have stated in other articles, we all know that Ashkenazi Jews carry at least one of 38 genetic diseases, some of which include cancer, Gaucher, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among others,” said George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison. “And who is best to address these diseases than well-trained doctors who are also Jewish—they may be living with the disease in their family. At this webinar, we will focus on some of the physicians affiliated with us and how they treat patients at St. Mary’s General Hospital.”

Today, with COVID-19 primarily on our minds we don’t think about the other issues that may crop up.

For example, perhaps we are experiencing some diarrhea, coughing a bit and occasionally feeling dizzy, so we go to the drugstore to get some meds. We also make an appointment to see our doctor in a few weeks and we go on with our busy life. Then we notice that we can’t stop shaking, even when we go back to bed and get under the covers. It has to be the flu or maybe COVID-19. We call our doctor, who advises us to go to a local emergency room and it turns out not to be COVID-19 at all—instead, an emergency colonoscopy reveals that we have two large tumors in our colon, which necessitates surgery to remove part of the colon! And we are diagnosed with stage 4 cancer!

Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, especially with today’s technology and expert physicians. Robotic surgery, where the incision is less than the size of an M&M candy, enables physicians to pinpoint a lesion and remove it safely without damaging surrounding tissues. If the lesion is too close to a vein, then an interventional radiologist can perform additional procedures to destroy the remaining lesions.

On staff we have Dr. Natan Krohn, a double board-certified physician in gastroenterology and internal medicine, who manages a wide spectrum of gastrointestinal conditions, including common symptoms such as acid reflux, swallowing difficulties and bowel irregularity, as well as colon cancer diagnosis and prevention. He will do the colorectal cancer screening, and if cancer is diagnosed, he will call on either Dr. Arvin Adler, a radiation oncologist, or Dr. Jeffrey Aronoff, a colorectal surgeon, as needed. No longer do you have to travel out of state for medical procedures! Each of these physicians will present a brief overview of their specialty, and there will be time for your questions and answers.

Colorectal cancer refers to cancers found in the colon or rectum and is the fourth most commonly detected cancer in the U.S.; with Ashkenazi Jews, rates in Ashkenazi Jews may be the highest of any ethnic group in the world.1 There are approximately 145,600 new cases and 51,020 deaths a year. The 5-year survival rate is 64% (2008–2014). The good news is death rates from colorectal cancer have dropped by 55% from 1970 to 2018, mainly due to finding cancers earlier through screening and better treatments. But death rates and diagnosis rates have both increased in adults younger than age 552.

So, early screening is the key to detecting colorectal issues sooner, and, together with state-of-the art technology and expert physicians, there is no reason why you won’t be here to celebrate your grandson’s bar mitzvah!

St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferred among the top hospitals in America for health, quality and patient safety! The hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Awards for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country including a “Top 15 Healthcare System” by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about St. Mary’s General Hospital visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison, at [email protected].

1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11411198/

2 https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/facts-and-figures-2021.html

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