Colorectal Cancer

The colon is the last part of the intestines which called the large intestine and it connects the small intestine with the anus with the length of about one meter and 60 CM. It absorbs water and salts which leads to solid stored stool until taken out and the rectum is the path that connects the colon with the anus.

What is colorectal cancer?

It is a cancerous tumor that may affect any part of the colon and rectum; affects men and women alike. Colorectal cancer ranked first in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms of the spread of the disease according to recent statistics and is the second largest type of cancer leading to death, affecting about a third of patients who are infected due to lack of early detection of this type of tumor. Therefore, early detection is very important because most of these tumors grow over long periods and then converts it to be difficult to eradicate and treat; so we recommend the importance of the periodic medical examination after the age of fifty for early detection of these tumors. 

  1.  Early detection of colon and rectum tumors and their discovery at an early stage means treatment and full recovery of them.
  2. Periodic preventive screening for the detection of polyps and eradication may reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by about 90%
  3. The early detection of cancerous tumors in the colon increases the chance of successful treatment and reduces the mortality rate resulting from this disease.

What are the factors leading to the high incidence of this type of cancer?

There are certain factors that increase the incidence of the disease by two or three times of the normal rate; including:

  • A family history of occurrence of the disease; if a family member has the disease or found that more than one individual in the family is infected with the disease, the percentage of the tumor incidence increases, especially if this member close to first class(father or mother or sister or brother or son)
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory increase the incidence of such tumors.
  • Previous infection with a tumor or polyps may increase the incidence of this tumor again. Especially when the infection at an early age less than 50 years.

There are some factors that may lead to increased incidence of such tumors such as:

  1. Eat meals rich in fat and meat and low in fiber and weight gain.
  2. Lack of physical activity such as sports and others.
  3. Smoking

How can we prevent colorectal cancer?

  1. Eating enough calcium may contribute to reducing the incidence of colorectal cancer.
  2. Continuous physical activity may reduce the incidence of such disease.
  3. Eating foods rich in fiber and reduce fat intake may reduce the incidence of such tumors.
  4. Most people who are at risk of colorectal cancer may require early frequency tests than others.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

Most patients do not have any symptoms

Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

Most patients do not have any symptoms of the disease, but there are some indicators; such as:

  1. Severe constipation, especially in the elderly; therefore advised doing a colonoscopy in such cases.
  2. Blood with stool, especially after the age of thirty could mean the presence of tumors or polyps in the colon or rectum.
  3. Severe chronic abdominal pain, especially after the age of forty.
  4. Underweight.

What is the plan for early screening of colorectal cancer?

  • An early screening process for colorectal cancer begins for people aged over 5O years.
  • When there are other factors to increase the incidence of such tumors, such as genetic reasons or inflammatory ulcerative colitis and other, only rely on the colonoscopy and at an early age from 20-year.
  • Early screening options for colorectal tumors.

There are many options for early screening for colon tumors including:

  1. Occult blood test in the stool.
  2. Colonoscopy
  3. Colored colon X-rays.

 

First: Occult blood test in stool: It is known that colon cancer can cause bleeding in the intestines which may be very small quantities and cannot be seen with the naked eye, so the detection of occult blood in the stool helps in the diagnosis process.

How effective is this test?

  • If this test is done every year, it leads to avoid or reduce the number of death resulting from colorectal cancer by about a third.
  • It is not the optimal test to detect polyps.
  • It must be done annually.

Second: colonoscopy (see colonoscopy brochure):

  • Colonoscopy is considered the most accurate examination of reliable early screening for the colon and rectum tumors and it is safe examination if it is conducted by endoscopy specialist.
  • This endoscope is repeated every i0 years.
  • Removes any polyps detected during endoscope, which takes from 2-3 minutes.

Third: Colored colon X-rays:

  • The preparation process for this screening is similar to the colons- copy process to be drinking the same solution as well as put a tube in the rectum to inflate the colon to examine the colon walls accurately.
  • In the case of suspected tumor or the presence of polyps, a colonoscopy must be done, or take a sample or remove these polyps.
  • Most studies indicate the inaccuracy of this type of screening for early detection of colorectal tumors; therefore, it has been replaced in many centers with (CT-Colonography).

Forth: (CT- Colonography):

  • This type of scan is considered as one of the new scans for early detection of colon tumors.
  • Initial studies indicate the effectiveness of this type of scanning for the early detection of colon and rectum tumors, as well as in the detection of polyps larger than 1 cm.
  • In the case of suspected tumor or the presence of polyps, a colonoscopy must be done, or take a sample or remove these polyps.
  • The preparation process for this screening is similar to the colons- copy process to be drinking the same solution as well as put a tube in the rectum to inflate the colon to examine the colon walls accurately.
  • This scanning is repeated every 5 years if there are no tumors or polyps.

Finally, remember, dear reader, the colon and rectum tumors rarely can be avoided and the early detection ensures full recovery of them.

About the Author

Pharmacist interested in improving the health outcome for every single case he meets.

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