The Fight Against Colorectal Cancer


March marks Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a crucial period dedicated to raising awareness and combating the prevalence of this disease. Colorectal cancer, ranking as the second most common cancer globally following breast cancer, typically initiates with benign growths known as polyps in the colon or rectum lining. Hence, early detection and intervention are imperative to prevent these polyps from evolving into cancerous tumors.

The incidence of colorectal cancer is on the rise, particularly among younger individuals and those aged 45 and above. Identifying risk factors is pivotal in addressing this trend. Age, familial predispositions, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poor diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption all contribute to the risk. Additionally, symptoms such as abdominal pain, sudden weight loss, changes in bowel habits, and blood or mucus in stools should not be overlooked.

Dr. Ravindran, a renowned general consultant and colorectal surgeon at Hospital Fatimah, emphasizes the significant influence of both lifestyle choices and genetic factors on colorectal cancer development. While some risk factors are beyond control, adopting a healthy lifestyle can notably reduce the risk. Prioritizing a balanced diet, regular exercise, hydration, avoiding tobacco, and moderating alcohol intake play pivotal roles in prevention.

Surgery remains the primary treatment for colorectal cancer, with colonoscopy serving as the most reliable diagnostic tool, particularly in the early stages when treatment outcomes are optimal. It is recommended for individuals aged 45 and above, and those asymptomatic, to undergo colonoscopy screening at least once every five years. However, prompt action is advised if symptoms arise before the scheduled screening.

Treatment options for colorectal cancer are determined by various factors, including disease stage, tumor location, and the patient’s overall well-being. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be employed to shrink tumors and ease removal. Alongside medical interventions, emotional support services such as counseling and peer support are essential in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of cancer management.

Despite its widespread occurrence, many individuals remain unaware of the risks, symptoms, and preventive measures associated with colorectal cancer. Therefore, shedding light on this disease is crucial to empower individuals to take proactive steps towards prevention, early detection, and treatment, thereby enhancing outcomes for all those affected by colorectal cancer. Contact us at 05-5472791 to schedule your colorectal cancer screening.

For more information, you can reach out to:

Ravin Surgical & Colorectal Specialist at Hospital Fatimah

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