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    A Patient's Guide to the Risk Factors and Symptoms of Colon Cancer

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Colon cancer is extremely common. It is the third most common type of cancer in men and the fourth most common in women. The good news is that colon cancer can often be diagnosed in its early, most treatable stages with regular screening tests. Fawcett Memorial Hospital offers colon cancer screening and treatment in our accredited cancer care department. Continue reading to learn about the risk factors and symptoms of this form of cancer.

    Risk Factors

    There are a number of different things that impact your risk of developing colon cancer. If you have a family history of the disease, your risk is higher. Your doctor may even recommend that you have more frequent screenings if you have family members who have had the disease. Poor dietary choices can also increase your colon cancer risk. High-fat diets, in particular, seem to be associated with colon cancer. By contrast, people who eat high-fiber diets seem to have a lower risk for colon cancer. If you have colon polyps or ulcerative colitis, your risk of developing colon cancer increases.


    In some cases, people with colon cancer don’t have any symptoms at all and only learn they have the disease after being screened. When symptoms do appear, they include fatigue, shortness of breath, changes in bowel habits, weight loss, anemia, and abdominal pain. These symptoms mimic other diseases, like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, so your doctor may rule those out before screening you for colon cancer. Tumors that appear on the left portion of the colon are more likely to cause early symptoms, as the left colon is narrower than the right.

    If you’re concerned about your risk for colon cancer, contact Fawcett Memorial Hospital for a referral to a physician or to learn more about our cancer care services. We also provide senior care, emergency care, and more to the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas. You can reach our Consult-A-Nurse line by calling (888) 685-1599. 

    The Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, and nearly the same number of women and men die each year due to this condition. Despite the prevalence of heart disease among women, many are unaware of their risk and don’t know that heart attack symptoms differ between men and women. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 and seek immediate emergency care at your local hospital.

    Chest Pain or Pressure

    As with men, women commonly experience chest pain or discomfort. Uncomfortable pressure or a feeling of squeezing or fullness in the center of the chest is another symptom of a heart attack. Some describe feeling as though an elephant were sitting across their chest. These sensations may last for several minutes or come and go. Women are also more likely than men to experience chest pain that is sharp or burning, rather than dull. However, it’s important for women to know they can experience a heart attack without any chest pain or pressure.

    Pain in Other Areas

    Women frequently experience pain in the neck, jaw, or throat during a heart attack. Pain in one or both arms may also occur. Another sign of heart attack in women is pressure or pain in the stomach, upper abdomen, or upper back.

    Shortness of Breath

    Extreme shortness of breath is not uncommon among women. Some women say they were so short of breath, they felt as though they had run a marathon. This and other symptoms of a heart attack can occur while you are at rest, arise during physical activity, or even be triggered by mental stress.

    Nausea or Lightheadedness

    Women are also somewhat more likely than men to experience dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, nausea, or vomiting. Breaking out in a cold sweat is another warning sign of a heart attack.

    If you believe you are experiencing a heart attack or other medical emergency, call 911 for immediate medical attention. Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte has received recognition as an Accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Our Emergency Care Center has state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment and is staffed by highly trained and skilled personnel. Call us at (888) 685-1599 for more information about our services.

    Meet Our Cardiovascular Team

    Last updated 4 years ago

    At Fawcett Memorial Hospital, we’re proud to be recognized as a leading cardiovascular hospital, which takes an experienced team that is dedicated to providing the highest quality medical services. To learn more about our hospital’s philosophy on patient care, watch this video.

    You’ll hear from one of the physicians on our cardiovascular team, who explains that the art of medicine is about much more than just the technical aspects of performing an operation. At Fawcett Memorial Hospital, the goal truly is total care of the patient, and each patient is treated as a part of our family. We stand by our slogan, and our patients see it realized every day.

    If you would like more information on our cardiovascular services, please call (888) 685-1599. Our professional team includes physicians, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, cardiovascular technicians, registered nurses, and echocardiograph technologists. Fawcett Memorial Hospital is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart disease, serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and North Port.

    An Up-Close Look at Coronary Artery Disease

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Each year in the United States, more people die from heart disease than any other cause. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease, and it’s estimated that nearly 380,000 Americans are killed by this condition annually. For the best possible cardiovascular health, you should discuss your risk of coronary artery disease with your doctor and make heart-healthy lifestyle choices.


    This disease develops when the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart become damaged, hardened, or narrowed by plaque. When fatty plaque deposits build up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup limits the flow of blood through the artery, weakening the heart by depriving it of the oxygen it needs to function properly. Over time, this accumulated plaque is also likely to tear or rupture, and a blood clot will form to repair the artery. A large blood clot can partially or completely block blood flow and cause a heart attack.


    Angina, or chest pain or discomfort, is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease. You may also experience a feeling of pressure or squeezing in the chest. Pain can also occur in the neck, jaw, arms, shoulders, or back. In some cases, people confuse angina with feelings of indigestion. Unfortunately, a heart attack may be your first indication of coronary artery disease. If the flow of oxygen-rich blood is cut off from the heart, serious complications like heart attack or even death can result.

    Diagnosis & Treatment

    If you are at high risk for coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend undergoing diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), echocardiogram, stress test, or coronary angiogram. Some risk factors include smoking, age (over 65), diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Once diagnosed, treatment will focus on lowering the risk of heart attack and managing symptoms. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, losing weight, and quitting smoking are recommended. Medications or surgical procedures may also be needed to improve blood flow.

    At Fawcett Memorial Hospital, we want our patients to have the best in heart care. As a leading cardiovascular hospital, our team is comprised of the Port Charlotte area’s most respected physicians and staff, specializing in all types of cardiovascular care. Call (888) 685-1599 or visit our website to learn more about Fawcett Memorial Hospital’s cardiovascular services.

    The Importance of Cancer Screenings

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Cancer can develop and spread throughout the body before symptoms present. That is why cancer care experts recommend cancer screenings for all appropriate patients. This video discusses how Fawcett Memorial Hospital is creating a comprehensive cancer care facility for Port Charlotte residents.

    Cancer screenings are part of the hospital’s efforts to provide effective treatment for cancer patients. A cancer screening can detect potential malignant growths that may indicate any number of cancers, including breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Should a biopsy confirm the presence of cancer, early cancer care can increase the likelihood of successful treatment that prevents the further growth of cancer tumors.

    See how Fawcett Memorial Hospital is helping Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda residents overcome their cancer diagnoses. For more information on our cancer care services, call (888) 685-1599.


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