@ Spl Correspondent
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer type worldwide; in 2020, almost 2 million cases were diagnosed. It is the second most common cause of cancer death, leading to almost 1 million deaths per year. This is despite the fact that effective screening techniques exist that could reduce the number of deaths from this disease.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is observed in March to highlight the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, as well as to promote healthy lifestyle habits that can decrease a person’s risk of developing cancer of the colon, rectum, or anus – the three distinct cancer types referred to collectively as colorectal cancer.
alcohol consumption was responsible for more than 160 000 new cases of colorectal cancer in 2020, or 8% of all cases of the disease diagnosed that year. Alcohol consumption also increases a person’s risk of developing at least six other cancer types, including liver cancer and breast cancer.
Other known cancer risk factors include tobacco smoking, which causes lung cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes cervical cancer. Both of these risk factors also contribute to the burden of colorectal cancer.
Another factor that increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer is obesity. Obesity was responsible for more than 85 000 cases of colon cancer and 25 000 cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in 2012, or about 23% of all cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed that year. Obesity also increases a person’s risk of developing at least seven other cancer types.
The AACR says colonoscopy screening can prevent colorectal cancer because precancerous polyps found during the procedure can be removed at the same time.
Symptoms may include a change in bowel habits, blood in or on your stool, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss and abdominal pain, aches or cramps that don’t go away
Surprisingly, two-thirds of the cancer cases are usually diagnosed when the disease reaches an advanced stage, thereby reducing the chances of a patient’s survival. Cancer prognosis can depend greatly on the stage of cancer, with terminal cancer being one that cannot be cured or treated. Therefore, by adopting prevention, early detection including early diagnosis, and screening programs, patients have hugely increased the chances of successful treatment and longevity.