Helping You Stay Well.
Gastroenterology is a specialty concerned with the function of the digestive system and its disorders. Disorders affect the stomach, intestines and related organs of the gastrointestinal tract; such as the liver and pancreas. Physicians practicing in this field of medicine are called gastroenterologists. Important advances have been made since Watson Clinic employed their first gastroenterology expert, contributing to the rapid expansion of its department.
Colorectal Cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. It is an easy disease to ignore because it’s hidden. Early detection is the primary defense against this deadly disease. There are several tests that are available to screen for colorectal cancer, including:
  • FOBT (fecal occult blood test) looks for blood in your stool, a sign that cancer may be present. This is a take home test that you can get from your doctor. You’ll place three stool smears on a test card and return it to your doctor or mail it to a laboratory. You may also elect to administer the test on-site in our lab.
  • Colonoscopy provides a view of your entire colon and rectum by using a flexible tube that has a tiny camera attached to it. During the exam, your doctor can remove most polyps and some cancers if necessary. A sedative is usually given for this test.
  • Double-contrast barium enema requires a barium enema followed by an air enema. It provides an x-ray image of the rectum and entire colon. You may have some discomfort during or after this procedure.
  • Pillcam is a vitamin-size camera (complete with light and batteries) that can be used to examine the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for cancer. It’s quick and painless. You simply swallow the small device, which snaps pictures as it moves along before being expelled naturally from the body. Images are transmitted so a doctor can view them. The camera can help detect problems such as precancerous changes in the GI tract.
The barium enema and colonoscopy all require clearing the intestinal tract before the examination. You will need to drink only clear liquids and take laxatives the day before the procedure.

What are symptoms of colorectal cancer?
  • A change in bowel habits.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Bright red or dark blood in the stool.
  • Stools that are narrower than usual.
  • Abdominal discomfort.
  • Weight loss for no known reason.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • Vomiting.
If you have one or more of these systems please see your doctor.
When is a good time to get screened? 
Watson Clinic’s Gastroenterologists and the American Cancer Society recommend the following screening guidelines for cancer.
  • Annual colonoscopy screening should start at age 45 for patients at average risk. These screenings should continue every year until the age of 76, after which your doctor may recommend a new schedule.

The criteria used to determine a person's average risk for the disease is the absence of any "above average" risk factors listed below.

Screening is especially urgent for people most at risk for cancers of the colon and rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, the following groups of people are at an above average risk for colorectal cancer:
  • A strong family history (mother, father, siblings) of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps 
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • A known family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
  • A personal history of radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer


Dr. Tammy Gebo-Seaman
  • Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton, FL
  • Internal Medicine, Residency: Largo Medical Center, Largo, FL
  • Gastroenterology, Fellowship: Largo Medical Center, Largo, FL
  • Board-certified: Internal Medicine
  • Member: American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine Certification, American College of Gastroenterology, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Physicians
Robert D. Lamport, MD, FACP 
  • Medical School: The New York State Program of The Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Internal Medicine, Internship & Residency: Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Gastroenterology, Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Board-certified: Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
  • Fellow: American College of Physicians
  • Member: American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology, Florida Gastroenterologic Society, Polk County Medical Association

Dr. Victor Nwakakwa
Victor C. Nwakakwa, MD, MRCP 
  • Medical School: University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, MD
  • Internal Medicine, Internship & Residency: Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA   
  • Gastroenterology, Fellowship: Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C.
  • Board-certified: Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
  • Member: American Gastroenterological Association, American Medical Association and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Publications: Author of several articles in medical journals and has co-authored chapters in various Gastroenterology textbooks

Dr. Joffre Rivera
Joffre R. Rivera, MD
  • Medical School: University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, MD
  • Internal Medicine, Internship & Residency: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 
  • Gastroenterology, Fellowship: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Board-certified: Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology 
  • Member: Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine, University of South Florida, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterology Association, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology, Florida Gastrointestinal Society, Florida Medical Association and Polk County Medical Association
  • Publications: Author of several abstracts in the areas of capsule endoscopy, gastrointestinal bleeding and esophageal stenting

Dr. Lijian Wang
Lijian Wang, MD, D.Sc.
  • Medical School: Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China, MD
  • Doctorate Degree: Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, MA, Doctor of Science
  • Internal Medicine, Internship & Residency: University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
  • Gastroenterology, Fellowship: State University of New York, Buffalo, NY    
  • Member: American Gastroenterology Association, American Association of Cancer Research, American College of Gastroenterology and Polk County Medical Association 

Ashley Craig
  • Graduate Degree: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, MSN
  • Member: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Polk County Advanced Practice Nurses Association

Paula Wibowo
  • Nursing School: Bradley University, Peoria, IL, BSN
  • Graduate Degree: Bradley University, Peoria, IL, MSN
  • Member: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Polk County Advanced Practice Nurses Association, Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, American Gastroenterology Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing 

Please call 863-680-7490 for additional information.