Colorectal cancer (or cancer of the colon and rectum or cancer of the intestine) is a type of cancer with a high prevalence which can be fatal. In Portugal, it is the second most frequent in women after breast cancer and the second most frequent in men after prostate cancer, occupying the first place in terms of mortality.
It can affect the colon or rectum (collectively known as the large intestine). Despite the biological similarity between colon and rectal tumours, the different anatomical location may dictate differences in the type of treatment needed. Early diagnosis can save your life and can even be prevented if the polyps that give rise to it are removed before they become malignant.
A colonoscopy, performed by a specialist in Gastroenterology, is the screening test of choice for this cancer and, although it is not free of complications, it should be performed as early as possible after 45 years of age or even rather, according to their symptoms and risk factors. Once known for a very complicated and painful exam, it is now a simpler exam, with colon cleansing preparations that are easier to perform and that is performed with deep sedation (by an anaesthetist).
Keep these tips with you:
There are 3 factors that increase the risk of colon cancer:
- Excess weight
- Excessive alcohol consumption
But there are also 2 factors that reduce it:
- Regular physical activity
- Diet rich enough in fibre
26th March 202126, March 2021