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Colorectal Cancer: the preventable — Colorectal Cancer is the most preventable cancer?

預防大腸癌

Colorectal Cancer is one of the common cancers. The increasing popularity of western lifestyles and an ageing population accelerates the incidence rate of colorectal cancer by 4.2% each year, but the ratio for early diagnosis is less than 10%.The latest data shows that the domestic incidence rate of colorectal cancer has an increasing trend while the age of people suffering from colorectal cancer is getting younger. The population of colorectal cancer patients is getting bigger and has the potential to exceed the population of lung cancer patients in cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

High Cure Rate Of Early Stage Colorectal Cancer

Patients diagnosed with an early stage colorectal cancer can recover their health fast if they have received timely consultation and treatment. According to recent clinical data, the survival rate of early stage colorectal cancer patients within 5 years after surgery is as high as 90%. Clinical cure is regarded as achieved if there is no recurrence or dissemination of colorectal cancer 5 years after surgery.

Unfortunately, most of the colorectal cancer patients are diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer. Their cure rate is less than 50% with indescribable pain during the treatment. The treatment cost at this stage is so expensive that it imposes a great burden on the family. Even if they are cured, their quality of life will be greatly reduced. They will have to carry around a stoma bag with them to allow bodily waste to exit the body as the surgery will remove their anus through enterostomy.

Researchers have found that in one Grade A hospital in China that has carried out colonoscopy over 4000 times every year, colorectal cancer treatment over 1000 times but less than 200 diagnosed cases are by colonoscopy. Instead, the colonoscopy had spotted more colon polyp patients than colorectal cancer patients.Over 90% of the colorectal cancer patients that had received the treatment are diagnosed with developing colorectal cancer. What is more shocking is that 80%of them were misdiagnosed as benign conditions such as piles, colitis etc. in their initial consultation. Some of them even had a haemorrhoidectomy (piles removal surgery) andmissed the best time for curing colorectal cancer.If colorectal cancer is discovered 3 months earlier, the cure rate and lifespan of the patient will increase, as well as the painful procedure and treatment cost will reduce.

Subtle Symptoms In The Early Stage

Even though the symptoms of colorectal cancer are subtle in the early stage, you should be alert if you have the following conditions.

  • 1. Blood in the stool
    Having blood in the stool is the earliest symptom of colorectal cancer but other conditions may also cause blood in the stool, such as piles, colon polyps, ulcerative colitis, tuberculosis in the intestines etc. It may be difficult to spot blood in the stool but you should be cautious if the stool is bloody and medications do not help with the condition.

  • 2. Mucus, pus, and black stool
    Cancerous tumour at anal canal, rectum, sigmoid colon comes with different amounts of mucus or pus as it is close to the anus. Cancerous tumour in the ascending colon may cause black stool.

  • 3. Irregular bowel habits
    The frequency of stool may increase, as many as eight or nine times a day, passing very little stool, constipation, diarrhoea, drooping sensation in the anus etc.

  • 4. Change in forms of stool
    Colorectal cancer at the end of the rectum or in anal canal may shrink, squeeze, leave marks on the stool. Seek medical assistance if the condition persists.

Conduct Colonoscopy and Gastroscopy Regularly

The characteristics of the gastrointestinal tract make gastrointestinal diseases undetectable in regular body check tests such as blood test, ultrasound scanning, electrocardiography (ECG), computed tomography (CT), and MRI etc. Gastroscopy and colonoscopy are the most important methods for gastrointestinal examination and effective screening of colorectal cancer.

It is very important to conduct gastroscopy and colonoscopy regularly. Researchers have found that only30%-40%of those who have a positive faecal occult blood test (FOBT) result will conduct a colonoscopy for further investigation.60%-70%of them will not conduct a further investigation for the positive FOBT result due to many other concerns. However, if a timely checkup is not carried out, the colorectal cancer is more likely to develop into an intermediate or final stage. Colorectal cancer in these stages is not easy to cure and the prognosis will not be good.

Disclaimer: Photos are extracted from the Internet, please contact us if copyright infringement has occurred. The above information is for reference only. Seek medical assistance immediately if you feel unwell.

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