Colorectal cancer is a collective term that combines malignant neoplasms of the colon and rectum.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. About 25 million people worldwide suffer from this disease, and colon cancer accounts for almost 10% of all cancer incidence. About 3000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed for the first time in their lives in Kazakhstan every year. In the structure of oncological diseases, colorectal cancer ranks 4th.
Most often, the cause of the development of CRC is untreated polyps or a genetic predisposition. The highest incidence rate among economically secured population groups.
Causes and factors affecting the development of colorectal cancer:
- Age. The likelihood of developing colorectal cancer increases as the body ages. More than 90% of patients with colorectal cancer are over 50 years old. The average age of patients with colorectal cancer is about 60 years.
- Presence of colorectal polyps. Polyps are growths on the inner walls of the colon or rectum. They are common among people over 50. Most polyps are benign (non-carcinogenic), but some polyps (adenomas) can develop into cancerous growth. Early detection and removal of polyps can reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Family history and heredity. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with the presence of cases in the family. The approximate proportion of colorectal cancer, which is based on hereditary causes, ranges from 5% to 30%. There are many hereditary pathologies (for example, familial adenomatous polyposis, Lynch syndrome), which result in the development of colorectal cancer. People with these hereditary disorders need more frequent medical supervision.
- Personal history of colorectal cancer. A person who has had colorectal cancer in the past is susceptible to getting the disease a second time. Also, women with a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Having a condition that causes inflammation of the colon (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer over the years.
- Improper nutrition. Research has shown that diets high in fat (especially animal-based) and low in calcium, folate and fiber contribute to colorectal cancer. Also, according to studies, people who do not consume enough fruits and vegetables are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk of developing polyps and colorectal cancer.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages. Drinking more than 45 g / day of pure ethyl alcohol (in alcoholic beverages) increases the risk of colon cancer by 45% and rectal cancer by 49%. Moreover, the effect of alcohol as a factor in the development of colorectal cancer may increase in the presence of obesity.
- Lack of vitamins and minerals. Scientific evidence shows that regular intake of vitamin D and calcium may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. A deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B6 can lead to disruption of DNA repair processes and a weakening of the body's antioxidant defense systems. As a consequence, a diet low in folate may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Beta-carotene, together with vitamins A, C and E, has an anticarcinogenic effect, participating in antioxidant protection and contributing to the regulation of the immune response.
- Lack of physical activity and obesity. The mechanism of the effect of obesity on the development of colorectal cancer is not fully understood; it is assumed that it consists in hyperinsulinemia. In contrast, physically active people have a 20–30% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Even moderate levels of physical activity (walking 3-4 hours a week) significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.
People with an increased risk of colorectal cancer should see a specialist to discuss the problem. The doctor can advise on ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease and make an optimal plan for the necessary research. Medical examination of patients helps the doctor determine the presence of polyps or cancer at an early stage, before symptoms of the disease appear. Timely detection and removal of polyps can prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Also, colorectal cancer treatment is more effective if the disease is detected at an early stage.
- Changes in bowel habits;
- Diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that the intestines are not emptied completely;
- Blood (bright red or very dark color) in the stool;
- Reduced bowel movements;
- General abdominal discomfort (frequent flatulence, bloating, swelling, pain);
- Weight loss for no apparent reason;
- Constant feeling of tiredness;
- Nausea and vomiting.
Very often, the above symptoms are not related to cancer. Other health problems can cause the same symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor in order to get a diagnosis and get treatment as soon as possible. Cancer is usually not painful in its early stages. It is very important not to wait for the onset of pain and consult a doctor in time.
- Total colonoscopy;
- 1st stage - analysis of feces for occult blood (iFOBT), if it is positive, the patient is sent for a total screening colonoscopy;
- 2nd stage - total colonoscopy is performed to detect polyps and take biopsy material for morphological examination;
- Pathomorphological examination of identified polyps.
Screening for early detection of colorectal cancer:
To detect colorectal cancer in Kazakhstan, there is a national screening - a survey that is done in the absence of symptoms to healthy men and women. Screening allows you to detect the disease at an early stage, when there are no symptoms and nothing worries. Screening is necessary for men and women aged 50-70 years 1 time in 2 years in a polyclinic at the place of attachment.
If you become concerned about the previously listed symptoms, then immediately contact the doctor at the place of attachment for screening for colorectal cancer.
Prevention recommendations of doctors:
- Significant reduction or exclusion from the diet of "red meat" (ham, hams, smoked sausages, etc.);
- Elimination of sugar abuse;
- Refusal from alcoholic beverages;
- Increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables and foods containing vegetable fiber (wholemeal bread, wheat or oat bran);
- Increase in consumption of foods containing calcium (milk and fermented milk products);
- Increased intake of vitamins A, C and D.
- Drinking more than 3 cups of coffee a day (has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing cancer)
- Refusal from smoking;
- Increased physical activity;
- Regular medical examinations.
However, early diagnosis is still the key to successful healing. For most patients, a late diagnosis of cancer means a poor prognosis. If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, then timely surgical treatment increases the patients' chances of survival.
If you have any questions or want to get tested and find out about your state of health, you can contact the Call Center at 8 (7172) 702-911.