Creating Awareness for Colon Cancer Screening

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month in Rhode Island:


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 14, 2019): As part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month in Rhode Island, the gastroenterologists at the Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center took the opportunity today to remind the public that colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, colon cancer prevention includes a high-fiber diet. “Serve yourself a double helping of cabbage this Sunday for dinner,” stated Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center Medical Director Thomas DeNucci, M.D. “Cabbage is low in fat and contains a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It’s very beneficial for a healthy colon.”

Rhode Island is participating in the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s Blue Star States campaign. The Blue Star symbol (a blue star merged with a ribbon) represents the fight against colon cancer as well as the eternal memory of people whose lives have been lost to the disease. Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center, an outpatient medical suite dedicated to the prevention and treatment of digestive issues including colon cancer, reached out to the State of Rhode Island as well as to the City of East Providence to get March recognized as Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Proclamations from both Governor Gina Raimondo and East Providence Mayor Roberto DaSilva were presented at a ceremony held this afternoon at the Endoscopy Center on Amaral Street in Riverside.

“Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.,” noted Dr. DeNucci. “With proper screening to remove polyps which are clumps of cells that can become cancerous, the survival rate is very high. There can be no symptoms, so it’s not advisable to wait until changes in stool, abdominal pain or bleeding present themselves before seeing a gastroenterologist.” He also identified those at risk including people aged 50 or older, African Americans, those who smoke or drink heavy amounts of alcohol, or people aged 45 or older with a family history.

“The City of East Providence sees the seriousness of bringing awareness to colon cancer – a disease that will impact one in 22 men and one in 24 women in their lifetime,” Mayor DaSilva said. “For this reason, the city has officially declared March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Brown Medicine in its efforts to bring awareness to this disease and to screen 80 percent of all Rhode Islanders,” DaSilva added. “In achieving this goal, Rhode Island is one step closer to becoming a Blue Star State.”

For more information or to make an appointment for colon cancer screening, call 401-649-4030 or visit

A Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life

Why the Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center is the Preferred Choice for Preventative Care

Brown Medicine Endoscopy Team

Most doctors agree that you shouldn’t wait to get screened for colorectal cancer. As organizations celebrate National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, Brown Physicians, Inc. caught up with Dr. Harlan Rich to discuss who is at risk for colon cancer and the actions you can take today to remain healthy.

“Essentially, everyone over the age of 50 is at risk for colon cancer and we usually look to identify people who may be at a higher risk,” said Dr. Rich, a gastroenterologist with Brown Medicine, which is one of six foundations that compose Brown Physicians, Inc.

Colon cancer is a scary topic for most people, but Dr. Rich says it is important to get screened early for better outcomes. “This is one of the cancers that are treatable if you catch it early, and curable if you catch it really early,” Dr. Rich said.

With screening being the best preventative measure against colon cancer, he emphasized that it is important for people to recognize their own individual risk for the disease and to seek a specialist regardless of the time of year. “Even though March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we want everyone to be aware of their risk for colon cancer and to be screened throughout the year,” Dr. Rich said.

Dr. Rich, who is also an associate professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School and is affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, suggested that younger people could also be at a higher risk for colon cancer depending on their family’s medical history. He says this population and other at-risk groups should have a colonoscopy performed at the Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center for preventative and practical reasons.

“Colonoscopies are the gold standard for diagnosing colon cancer because it can be a one-stop procedure for diagnostics, therapeutics, taking samples, and removing lesions,” said Dr. Rich. “The Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center allows a patient to come to a comfortable, personalized setting with state-of-the-art equipment equivalent to what would be seen in a hospital with ease of access.”

Another reason why patients should consider Brown Medicine for their gastroenterology needs comes down to costs, Dr. Rich added. “We have the same equipment that’s at the hospital, and we are able to perform the same procedures with the same level of skill and expertise at a reduced cost when compared to a traditional hospital setting. More importantly, all of the procedures done at Brown Medicine are performed by Warren Alpert Medical School faculty members who are also responsible for training the next generation of gastroenterologists and physicians.”

With a commitment to improve patient care, promote medical education, and advance research, Brown Physicians, Inc. encourages patients to learn more about the Brown Medicine Endoscopy Center here. If you are interested in receiving preventative care by a renowned team of physicians and gastroenterologists, you can also call 401-649-4030 to schedule an appointment.