The March observed as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer the second and third leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women respectively. Pakistan although classically considered as the low-risk zone experiencing a surge in cases of Colorectal Cancer. And to our dismay, that too in the younger population. This high time to aware our masses about this underreported issue. Colorectal Cancer the cancer of colon or rectum. What exactly causes it, still unknown but there are several risk factors. That can be avoided to lower the risk of Colorectal Cancer. Lifestyle changes such as abstinence from alcohol, avoid frequent use of red meat, increased use of vegetables, fruits, and good fats. intake of vitamin c and coffee may considerably lower the risk of Colorectal Cancer.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abdominal distension. irritable bowel moment, sense of fullness, and blood from the colon. Colorectal Cancer is divided into five stages based on the spread and nature of cancer.
More about Colorectal Cancer Awareness:
March 2020, as the “Colorectal Cancer Awareness” month. Rare opportunity to aware of the masses regarding this less known type of cancer, on a global scale. It’s estimated to be the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women and the third for men. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in 21 men and one in 23 women in the United States. Will develop Colorectal Cancer at some point in their lifetime.
Pakistan a South Asian country, although placed in the low-risk zone for Colorectal Cancer. Experiencing a surge in Colorectal cases in recent decades. Previously believed that Colorectal Cancer is predominantly seen in patients above the age of 50 in Pakistan and Bangladesh. But recent data paints a very gloomy picture and in fact very alarming situation of a rapid increase in Colorectal Cancer among young Pakistani population. Moreover, young Cancer cases are underreported, with late diagnosis (When the cancer is in a fairly advanced stage) and very poor prognosis.
The robust awareness campaign and adoption of early diagnostic facilities the cry of the hour. Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute & Research Centre, Dr. Faisal Dar, and our team of experts focus this march on Colorectal cancer awareness. To educate and motivate Pakistanis about this silent killer.
Now what is Colorectal Cancer;
Colorectal Cancer is any Cancer that affects the colon ( large intestine) and rectum. It also is known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer. Colorectal Cancer may be benign or malignant, if malignant it can spread to other body organs.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer includes;
- Fatigue or tiredness.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Anemia or unexplained iron deficiency.
- Changes in bowel habits, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Blood in stools esp bright red blood that indicates it is coming from rectum.
- Pain and bloating in the abdomen, lump in the lower abdomen, and sense of fullness.
- Feeling of the bowl not emptying after passing stools.
- Many of these symptoms are not exclusively associated with Colorectal Cancer and many mild abdominal. disorders can cause one or more of the above symptoms. but if the symptoms persist for more then 4 weeks, immediately consult your physician.
How to prevent yourself from Colorectal Cancer:
- Although the exact cause of Colorectal Cancer, is unknown few risk factors can increase the chances of this type of cancer. Lifestyle changes and avoiding risk factors can protect us from Colorectal Cancer. Adopt the following measure to protect yourself and your dear ones from Colorectal Cancer.
- Regular screening can reduce the risk of developing malignancy. especially for those who have a family history of Colorectal Cancer, are above 50 years of age, or have Crohn’s disease.
- Intake of fiber, fruit, vegetables, good quality carbohydrates, limiting our use of red meat. switching from processed fats to good fats such as avocado and olive oil. greatly reduce the risk of developing Colorectal Cancer.
- Stay away from alcohol consumption, the leading cause of Colorectal Cancer in young people.
- Moderate, regular exercise can reduce the risk of Colorectal Cancer.
- Obesity carries an increased risk of Colorectal Cancer, so keep your weight in check.
- New research shows that the intake of enough amount of vitamin C. The uses of coffee may lower the risk of Colorectal Cancer.
Stages of Colorectal Cancer
There are different ways of assigning stages to Colorectal Cancer. but the generalized categorization based upon the spread of cancer and the size of tumors.
- Stage 0, or carcinoma in citu, the stage in which Colorectal Cancer. At the very early stage, not growth father then the inner layers of the large intestine, and usually easy to treat.
- Stage 1, indicates that cancer has spread into the next layer of colon tissue but not reached any lymph nodes or other organs.
- In stage 2, Colorectal Cancer reaches other layers of colon or rectum but still limited to colon/ rectum only.
- stage 3, the cancer growth takes place to outer layers of the colon, reaches two to three lymph nodes but still not spread to other organs.
- In stage 4, Cancer cells spread to other tissue beyond the walls of colon/rectum. and progressively spread to distant body organs.