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Colorectal Cancer

Understanding Colorectal Cancer

Symptoms vary depending on the location of the cancer within the colon or rectum, though there may be no symptoms at all. The most common presenting symptom is rectal bleeding. Cancers arising from the left side of the colon generally cause bleeding, and in their late stages may cause constipation, abdominal pain and obstructive symptoms. On the other hand, right-sided colon cancer may produce vague abdominal aching or weakness, weight loss and anemia from chronic blood loss.

Please be advised that this location is a provider-based clinic and both a physician and facility fee will be assessed, which may result in a higher out-of-pocket expense.

Contact Information:

Center for Women's Gastrointestinal Health
100 Dudley Street
3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02905
P: ( 401) 453-7953

No Show Policy 
We have a policy for missed appointments at all Women & Infants' physician practices. If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice.

  • Bright red blood in the stool
  • Diarrhea that is not the result of cold or flu
  • Constipation for an unusually long period
  • Cramps and pain in the abdominal region
  • Persistent decrease in size or caliber of stool
  • Frequent feeling of bloating in the abdominal or bowel region
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual and continuing lack of energy
Risk Factors:
  • Cancer of female organs
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Physical inactivity
  • High-fat diet
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Too few fruits and vegetables in your diet

Who should be screened? How often?

Screenings can detect colorectal cancer when it can be treated. For individuals at normal risk, screening tests should begin at age 50. The preferred approach is a screening colonoscopy conducted every 10 years. In addition, consider the following recommendations for screening:

  • Colorectal cancer screening in African Americans begins at age 45
  • Colonoscopic surveillance needs to be performed at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer - those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, family history of colorectal cancer (CRC), hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or irritable bowel disease (IBD)
  • An alternate strategy consists of annual stool test for blood and a flexible sigmoidoscopic exam every three to five years

Meet the Team

Christy L. Dibble, DO

Christy L. Dibble, DO, is director of the Women & Infants Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Health and chairs the Women & Infants Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Tumor Board. She graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency and gastroenterology fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Mariam Fayek, MD

Mariam Fayek, MD, attended Howard University College of Medicine where she was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She then went on to pursue an internal medicine residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital Cornell Weill Medical Center in New York City. 

Nnenna C. Okpara, MD

Nnenna C. Okpara, MD is a gastroenterologist at the Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Health. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston, and went on to earn her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. 

Nancy Botelho, NP

Nancy Botelho, NP, is a registered nurse practitioner with Women & Infants’ Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Health. She is a board certified family nurse practitioner. Ms. Botelho earned her degree from the University of Rhode Island, where she is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Nursing. Her interests include patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Autumn P. Hines, DO, Gastroenterologist

Autumn Hines, DO, graduated from the University of Virginia. She attended medical school at the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. After completing her medical degree, she completed both her internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI.

Samantha Colli, PA-C

Samantha Colli, PA-C, is a physician assistant at Women & Infants Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Health. Samantha graduated with her master of science in physician assistant studies from Johnson & Wales University. Her clinical interests include inflammatory bowel disease and disorders of the liver.