Be alert! Know the facts about Colorectal CancerEastern Biotech
More than 90% of Colorectal Cancer occurs to people aged 50 and above. According to an article in Gulf News1, “In the UAE, colon cancer in Emirati men occurs at an earlier average age of 47 compared to 50 in the West.” There is said to be more incidence of CRC in men as compared to women.
How does it develop?
Most commonly begins with a polyp in the innermost layer of the colon or rectum. In some cases the growth of a polyp could be cancerous, a tumor develops and grows through layers of tissues. According to Colon Cancer Canada2, ” The majority of CRCs begin as benign growths in the lining of the colon called adenomatous polyps. Over the years, these polyps grow in size and number, thereby increasing the risk that the cells in the polyps will become cancerous.
Polyp removal is usually done during a colonoscopy and the patient is sedated during the procedure. Recovery is very quick and usually pain-free. Polyps are sent for a biopsy and tested for any malignancies. ”
Who are at risk?
Cacer.net3 tells us that the risk of having CRC may come from:
- Rare inherited conditions. Members of families with certain uncommon inherited conditions also have a significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
- People who develop Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People with IBD, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, may develop chronic inflammation of the large intestine. This increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Adenomatous polyps (adenomas). Polyps are not cancer, but some types of polyps called adenomas can develop into colorectal cancer over time.
- Personal history of certain types of cancer. Having a personal history of colorectal cancer and women who have had ovarian cancer or uterine cancer are more likely to develop colorectal cancer themselves.
- Physical inactivity and obesity. People who lead an inactive lifestyle, meaning no regular exercise and a lot of sitting and people who are overweight and obese may have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Nutrition. Current research consistently links eating more red meat and processed meat to a higher risk of the disease. Other dietary factors have also been looked at to see if they affect the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Screening is the most important tool for catching colorectal cancer early4.
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. Men and women with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer and/or polyps or a history of inflammatory bowel disease may be at higher risk. Obesity, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and diets high in red or processed meat may also increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Medical experts recommend, as one of the screening options, annual colorectal cancer screening using FOBT or FIT tests. There are numerous screening options, including but not limited to:
A fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year; or
Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years; or
A FIT or FOBT every year plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years (of these first 3 options, the combination of FIT or FOBT every year plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years is preferable.); or
Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years; or
Colonoscopy every 10 years.
In the UAE alone, Colorectal Cancer is said to be the second cause of Cancer Death. Eastern Biotech and Life Sciences a Dubai-based Medical Diagnostic Services company offers preventive measures in acquiring Colorectal Cancer through early screening, from Genetic testing to fecal occult blood test.
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- 1 GulfNews: Colon cancer in Emirati men occurs earlier than in the West
- 2 Colon Cancer Canada: Fast Facts on Colorectal Cancer (CRC)
- 3 Cancer.net: Colorectal Cancer – Risk Factors and Prevention
- 4 Clinical Genomics