; IN Doctor on Eye Exams & Colon Cancer Risk

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

IN Doctor on Eye Exams & Colon Cancer Risk

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center eye doctor Scott Buck, M.D., commented that patients may wonder what eye exams could possibly have to do with your risk of colon cancer. As it turns out-plenty! The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a layer of the retina which can sometimes be thicker than normal at birth-or “hypertrophic”. Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy (CHRPE) is usually found before patients reach 30 years of age and although they may enlarge with time they usually do not lead to malignancies like colon cancer.  “During regular eye exams when we find these areas of retinal pigmented epithelial hypertrophy typically they do not cause any vision problems or symptoms and are pretty unremarkable,” commented Dr. Buck.

However, there is an association between people with Gardner's Syndrome-Familial Colonic Polyposes-or polyps of the colon, and CHRPE. “If your eye doctor has told you that you have Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy-perhaps called “Bear Tracks” or “Pigment Spots” or “Retina Freckles”, it is important to carefully explore and review your family history reasonable with a Gastroenterologist who will likely schedule you for a colonoscopy,” said Dr. Buck. It may be that the freckles are caused by the same genetic mutation that produces the polyps. A study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that patients with such freckles should be referred for colonoscopies.

Thus-when we are over 50 years of age, the reasons to have yearly eye exams includes not only detecting cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases, but regular eye examinations may very well be a reminder to be screened via colonoscopy to help detect early risks and potential indicators of colon cancer. To schedule an eye exam please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN is staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. We are conveniently located for patients seeking eye care from throughout northern Indiana including La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete.