Colorectal cancer is the disease that strikes the region of the large intestine (colon) and rectum, and is one of the most incident types of cancer in the world. According to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the second most common in men – only losing for cases of non-melanoma skin cancer. There are about 27 thousand new cases annually, in Brazil alone.
When diagnosed early, colorectal cancer has a high chance of cure. The disease manifests itself through polyps – small elevations in the wall of the colon and rectum that grow slowly, which can take years to become malignant.
The best form of prevention is the removal of polyps before they become malignant with the aid of colonoscopy. In addition, healthy eating habits and physical activity also help prevent the disease. Understand now how to prevent and treat colorectal cancer to have a long, healthy, quality life.
A study by the American Cancer Society showed that the number of people with colorectal cancer born in the 90’s has been growing significantly. According to research, millennials generation has almost double the risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is because one of the main risk factors of the disease is people’s diet.
A diet rich in processed red meat, such as sausages and fats – coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and alcoholism – puts people in the risk group. This change in profile brings up the need to consult a coloproctologist at all stages of life – not just when you become a senior citizen.
The more advanced the age, the more chances the person has to have the disease. The risk group is patients over 50, and people with a history of cancer in the family, which further increases the chances of developing the disease.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer
Although there are risk factors for colorectal cancer, it is important to be aware of the symptoms. Most of the time, they are related to bowel behavior. These signs should be evaluated and if they appear frequently, they are reason enough to consult with a specialist:
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Fine stools with blood or mucous membrane
- Frequent bloating in the abdominal region
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Sudden weight loss
- Permanence of will to evacuate even after evacuation
These symptoms can also be signs for other types of gastrointestinal diseases, which also deserve investigation for their actual treatment.
The best way to detect cancer is through colonoscopy – an examination performed by the anus that allows you to find and remove polyps from the bowel to see if they are malignant or benign.
When colorectal cancer is confirmed, the treatment is usually initially multidisciplinary, which means it involves surgery, chemotherapy and, in some cases, radiation therapy. Surgery is necessary when tumors are larger and can not be removed at colonoscopy – this can be a conventional, laparoscopic or robotic procedure. In patients with rectal tumors, there may be a need for radiotherapy or chemotherapy before surgery.
However, prevention is the best form of treatment. Doing physical activity regularly and having a balanced, high-fiber diet helps to achieve quality of life and well-being. It is also important to perform preventive exams.
Here at Colono Clinic you are treated by professionals highly qualified in diagnosis and treatment.
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