Dayna S. Early, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Endoscopy
Director, Advanced Interventional Fellowship Program
Dr. Early received her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She completed her internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN. She then returned to the University of Missouri as a faculty member in the Division of Gastroenterology in 1995. She developed gastroenterology services at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center of the University of Missouri. Dr. Early led the colorectal cancer screening efforts at Ellis Fischel and developed an endoscopic ultrasound program there. In addition to general gastroenterology, Dr. Early has a particular interest in colorectal cancer screening and gastrointestinal oncology. Dr. Early joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. She has continued to focus her clinical research on colorectal cancer screening, including barriers to colorectal cancer screening, identifying high risk groups for colorectal cancer/polyps, and the role of selenium in colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in this country. As far as I’m concerned, colon cancer could be virtually eliminated if everyone eligible for screening participated. This is a big challenge, however, and I have carried out clinical investigations looking at attitudes toward colorectal cancer screening, in hopes of finding ways to improve compliance with screening. In addition to colorectal cancer screening, my clinical interests include endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and endoscopic treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. EUS is a technique initially developed to assist in staging gastrointestinal cancers, but has developed into a technique with wide applicability. EUS is now used to investigate the biliary tree, pancreas and mediastinum for both malignant and benign processes, and can facilitate biopsy of areas otherwise difficult to access. Patients with gastrointestinal cancer often have myriad treatment options to choose from, particularly at a referral center. For patients who will benefit from endoscopic treatment, we will offer comprehensive endoscopic treatment for gastrointestinal cancers, including esophageal stent placement and photodynamic therapy.”