Early screening is essential to prevent and increase cure rate of Colorectal Cancer
Dr. Valentina Giaccaglia, MD, PhD, female general surgeon expert in proctology and pelvic floor diseases, is committed to raise awareness of this potentially life-threatening disease
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide; in the United Arab Emirates is the 2nd common cancer in men and 3rd in women, with a higher prevalence in men (59%) compared to women (41%). Recent data showed that CRC is increasing and occur at younger ages than the west, with a median age of CRC diagnosis at only 51 years.
This type of cancer typically starts with a polyp which gives no symptoms but can be early detected through screening and can be removed during colonoscopy, therefore preventing the diseases.
Non modifiable risk factors
Modifiable risk factors
- Positive family history of colorectal cancer
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
- Overweight and obesity, diet high in fat and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables
- Low levels of physical activity (sedentary lifestyle)
- Tobacco use (cigarettes, shisha and medwakh, etc.)
- Alcohol consumption
Therefore, colorectal cancer risk can be significantly reduced through exercise, healthy eating, and the avoidance of vices such as smoking.
- Avoiding foods that are high in fat
- Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
- Not smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation
Moreover, it is a preventable disease with regular screening and is very curable if diagnosed early.
In fact, because there are often no symptoms when it is first developing, colorectal cancer can only be diagnosed early through regular screening. The benefits of early detection and treatment are dramatic. The possibility of curing patients after symptoms develop is only 50%, but if colorectal cancer is found and treated at an early stage before symptoms develop, the opportunity to cure it is 80% or better. Most colon cancers start as non-cancerous growths called polyps. If we are able to find these polyps while they are still non-cancerous, we remove them and the cancer may be prevented. Major surgery can usually be avoided, as well.
Screening Guidelines in the Middle East
- For people at average risk of getting colorectal cancer
- annually beginning at age 40: digital rectal examination and fecal occult blood test, which screens for hidden blood in the stool
- every 5 to 10 years at age 50 or older: flexible colonoscopy (a test that allows the physician to look directly at the lining of the colon and rectum)
- People at increased risk for colorectal cancer (personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease): earlier and more frequent screening
Book your appointment now if you are:
- Aged 50 or older
- Have a family member who had colorectal cancer or colon polyps
- Have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease)
- Have experienced symptoms such as blood in your stool, abdominal pain, or a change in bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea)
- You would like to know how you can decrease your risk of getting colorectal cancer.