Do Not Underestimate Colon Cancer Prevention. It Can Save Your Life.Article
11. 12. 2019
If a doctor diagnoses colon cancer in a patient in time, the disease can be treated with success. Unfortunately, doctors often encounter patients in advanced stages of this disease and each year, they are unable to save 4000 people in the Czech Republic alone.
In cases where colon cancer is detected early, chances of successful treatment are high
People between the ages of 63 and 77 represent the highest risk group. However, even patients who are significantly younger can fall ill. The most important factor is represented by the patient's age. A person's lifestyle is important as well as his/her eating habits (for example eating grilled or fried foods, excessive consumption of red meat). The diet has to contain sufficient amounts of fiber. Calorie intake should reflect the patient's age and the level of physical activity/movement. Excessive calorie intake and obesity are not good for the body. Congenital predisposition is responsible for about 15-19% of cases. The tumor begins to grow uncontrollably within 7 to 10 years.
If the disease is caught in time, the chances of recovery are favorable and the treatment is conducted by a clinical oncologist. The selected treatment is always tailored to the given patient and the stage the disease is in. In cases of very early diagnosis, the malignant tumor can be removed using an endoscopic procedure, while in other cases the patient must undergo surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
What are the risk factors?
Higher-risk patients are usually people whose close relatives who suffered from cancer and those people over the age of 63. A generally unhealthy lifestyle is another risk factor. This includes excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, fatty foods and red meat, cured meat, fried and smoked foods. Generally speaking, bad eating habits lead to increased likelihood of colon cancer developing. Higher-risk patients also include those who have colon polyps present because these can actually develop into cancer. Polyps develop due to a faulty chromosome which is inherited from one of the parents. This is why it is important to know the family medical history. If one of the parents or grandparents suffered from colon polyps, the patient should undergo an examination to determine or confirm their presence. When a polyp is detect, the best course of action is its removal.
How is colon cancer diagnosed?
Initially, the affected person does not encounter many symptoms. Common symptoms include the presence of blood in the stool, stomach pains, unexplained loss of weight, changes in bowel movement where constipation and diarrhea alternate irregularly and where the stool is narrow in shape.
Prevention and undergoing preventive examinations
We should not forget about prevention which is especially important for higher-risk groups of patients. This can lead to early detection of colon cancer and its successful treatment.
- Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
- Limit the intake of salt.
- Consume minimum amounts of fried foods.
- Grilling or smoking foods is not a preferred means of cooking it.
- Eat minimum amounts of red meat and replace it with chicken or fish.
- Maintain good weight.
- Move as much as possible
- Fecal occult blood tests
The patient should lead a healthy lifestyle, have sufficient physical activity, limit the intake of unhealthy foods and visit the general practitioner in case of any suspicion. The doctor will then refer the patient to a specialized facility.Patients older than 55 should actively undergo a colonoscopy examination which will help in detecting early stages of the illness. From the age of 50 to 54, the patient can undergo fecal occult blood tests, which check the presence of blood in the stool. You will receive further information about the test from a gynecologist or general practitioner.
Eat healthy foods and limit the likelihood of cancer occurring
The right diet can prevent colon cancer from developing. If you fall within the higher-risk group of patients, an appropriate diet should be a must as well as undergoing preventive examinations which the doctor can prescribe for you.
Consume low-fat meats, avoiding smoked meats and red meat. Replace animal fats with vegetable oils which have been cold-pressed. The diet should be composed of foods rich in fiber which help in bowel movement. As a result, the intestinal walls are cleaner, the intestines allow for easier passage and substances which would act negatively on it are not present. Some of the most suitable foods include those with legumes, fruits, vegetables, wholegrain baked goods, natural rice or wholegrain pasta. Along with a healthy diet, ensure sufficient physical activity and do not consume alcohol or smoke.
Arrange a preventive examination as early as possible to detect colon cancer in its early stages. In a timely positive result, the disease can be treated successfully and the chances of a cure and recovery are enormous.
Would you like to know about colon cancer prevention? Are you interested in undergoing preventive examinations? Contact us now by dialing (+420) 235 360 133.