Dana Mia Kim https://hopefromwithin.org 4m 913
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
What You Need To Know About Colorectal Cancer
By MSD in the Philippines
Cancer is a type of non-communicable disease (NCD) or lifestyle-related illnesses (LRDs), regarded as a “silent catastrophe” within the Filipino population.1
One cancer type prevalent in the Philippines is colorectal cancer. In 2020, it was the third most prevalent cancer type, with approximately 17,364 or 11.3% of all new cancer cases in the country.2
Colon cancer is a disease that generally begins with the formation of tiny, noncancerous collections of cells called polyps on the interior of the colon.3 This disease is sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer for colon and rectal cancer cases that start in the rectum.3
Causes of Colorectal Cancer
Colon cancer develops when the DNA of a healthy cell breaks and becomes cancerous – it continues to divide, even when no new cells are required. 3 As the cells accumulate, a tumor forms. 3 Cancer cells may develop to infiltrate and kill normal tissue in close proximity over time.3 Additionally, malignant cells may spread to other areas of the body. 3
Risk Factors of Colorectal Cancer
Risk factors are things that could increase a person’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.
Older age. 3 Colon cancer can be diagnosed at any age, but people older than 50 have higher chances of developing colon cancer.3
Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps.3 If you have already had colon cancer or noncancerous colon polyps, you have a greater risk of colon cancer in the future.3
Inflammatory intestinal conditions. 3 Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, can increase your risk of colon cancer.3
Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk.3 Some gene mutations passed through generations of your family can increase your risk of colon cancer significantly.3 The most common inherited syndromes that can increase your colon cancer risk are: familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP); and Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).3
Family history of colon cancer. 3 If more than one family member has colon or rectal cancer, your risk is even greater.3
Low-fiber, high-fat diet.3 Colon cancer and rectal cancer may be associated with a diet low in fiber and high in fat and calories.3 Studies have found an increased risk of colon cancer in people who eat diets high in red meat and processed meat.3
A sedentary lifestyle. 3 People who are inactive are more likely to develop colon cancer.3
Diabetes. 3 People with diabetes or insulin resistance have an increased risk of colon cancer.3
Obesity. 3 People who are obese have an increased risk of colon cancer as well as an increased risk of dying from the disease compared with people considered normal weight.3
Smoking. 3 People who smoke may have an increased risk of colon cancer.3
Alcohol. 3 Heavy use of alcohol increases your risk of colon cancer.3
Radiation therapy for cancer. 3 Radiation therapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers increases the risk of colon cancer.3
Colorectal Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Many individuals with colon cancer exhibit no symptoms during the disease’s early stages.3 When symptoms do manifest, they will almost certainly differ according to the size and location of the cancer in your large intestine.3
Some usual colorectal cancer symptoms are listed below:
- Persistent changes in your bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation) or in the consistency of your stool3
- Bleeding in the rectum or blood in your stool3
- stomach discomforts that persist, such as cramps, gas, or pain3
- A sensation that your bowels are not fully emptied3
- Weakness or exhaustion3
- Unexplained weight loss3
Prevention and Control of Colorectal Cancer
Listed below are some of the things that you can do to lower your risk of having colorectal cancer:
- Screening early for colon cancer3
- Making changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of colon cancer3
- Undergoing colorectal cancer diagnostic tests (see below)3
Several diagnostic tests and colorectal cancer screening tests contribute to the staging of colorectal cancer, including the following:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)3
- Computed tomography (CT) scan3
- Ultrasound exam3
- Chest X-ray3
- Lymph node biopsy3
- Complete blood count3
- Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test3
Colorectal cancer is a disease that begins in the large intestine, specifically the colon, which is the digestive tract’s last section.3 It is a cancer that, when detected early, can be managed.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you detect any persistent symptoms.3 If you want to be tested, consult your physician about the different advantages and disadvantages of various tests, as well as the frequency of testing.3 Consider your medical condition, the probability of receiving the test, and the testing and follow-up resources available when making treatment choices.3
It will also help you to find the right colorectal cancer treatment. Local efforts such as MSD’s Hope From Within and their The Cancer Game Plan PH, which offer informative tools to assist patients and their loved ones battle cancer with the most up-to-date knowledge, may also be found online. This could also help in raising colorectal awareness, to further know the various colorectal cancer causes.
Philippine Cancer Control Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from Department of Health: https://doh.gov.ph/philippine-cancer-control-program. Accessed on September 17, 2021.
GLOBOCAN 2020: Philippines Population Fact Sheets. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Global Cancer Observatory: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/608-philippines-fact-sheets.pdf. Accessed on September 17, 2021.
Colon Cancer. (2021, June 11). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc- 2035 3669. Accessed on September 17, 2021.
Colorectal cancer stages. (2021, July 15). Retrieved from Cancer Treatment Centers of America: https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/stages. Accessed on September 17, 2021.