Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is the development of cancer in the colon or rectum.
It is very treatable and 90% can be cured if caught in time.
It is the most common cancer between men and women.
The financial cost of colorectal cancer in Spain is estimated to be 1200 million euros a year. If everybody in the country were screened for it the cost would be of approximately 70 million euros a year.
90% of the new cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 50 but slowly it is starting to appear in younger people.
Early diagnosis and prevention are clearly cost effective.
The risk factors can be divided in two groups: Variables and invariables.
Being over 50 years old. Remember slowly it is creeping in to younger age groups.
Having a history of polyps in the colon or rectum.
Having a family history of colorectal cancer or certain kinds of polyps.
Some hereditary illnesses such as Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Lynch Syndrome
Having an intestinal inflammatory illness, also known as Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's.
A diet rich in red meats and processed meats.
A fat rich, low fiber diet.
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Having type 2 (usually non-insulin dependent) diabetes.
A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
There are studies that suggest that deficiency of vitamin D increases the incidence of colon cancer and that it might also have a negative impact on the survival of colon cancer patients.
Not screening annually for colorectal cancer as from the age of 28.
Patient with no family or personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer:
Screening through fecal immunochemical test (FIT) annually as from the age of 28.
Colonoscopy test every 10 years starting at the age of 50.
Patients with an increased risk of colon cancer (family history or a personal history of polyps and/or cancer), :
Start colonoscopies earlier in life and have a smaller gap between them.
The time intervals must be established with their doctor.
FIT should be carried out in the years the patient is not having a colonoscopy.
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