Colon cancer, the importance of early detection

Colon cancer is one of the most frequent in Spain, with almost 45,000 people diagnosed in 2019, according to data from the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM). The 80% of colon cancer cases are sporadic which means that its cause is nonspecific, and the Remaining 20% ​​are hereditary.

It is a cancer that is usually associated more with men due to its incidence in this sex, but it can affect both. Those with first-degree relatives with colon cancer are more likely to suffer from the disease and hence the importance of regular check-ups for its early detection, since in 90% of cases there is a probability of cure.

When does colon cancer occur?

"Colon cancer occurs when cells in the colon or rectum grow and multiply uncontrollably, damaging the surrounding tissue and interfering with the normal function of the colon or rectum," explained the experts at the MD Anderson Cancer Center on its website.

Most of these malignant tumors, around 70% appear in the first 180 cm of the large intestine, and the other 30%, are found in the last 25 cm of the large intestine or rectum. Together these are called colorectal cancers.

A silent cancer in its early stages

Colon cancer is one of those with no symptoms in its early stages and most begin with a polyp, a small cancerous mass that is in the wall of the colon and that if it grows can turn into a malignant tumor. If these become larger it is when the possibility of presenting certain symptoms increases, such as: blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or colic with discomfort in the lower abdomen, desire to defecate when in fact you do not feel like it …

Colon cancer incidence, detection and treatments

Experts recommend getting checkups starting at age 50, if there is no personal history (such as Crohn's disease, colitis, or adenomatous polyps) or family history that poses a higher risk. both women and men. Colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test (PSOH) or fecal immunohistochemistry test (PIF) every year, sigmoidoscopy every five years, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) analysis, rectal examination and opaque double-contrast enema are some of the forms of cancer diagnosis.

The treatments that currently exist for this type of cancer they are:

– Radiotherapy techniques for rectal and anal canal tumors:

– Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

– Volumetric radiation therapy (VMAT)

– Extracranial stereotaxic radiosurgery (SBRT)

Recommendations and healthy habits for its prevention

One of the ways to successfully cope with the disease and minimize the consequences of treatment is have a healthy eating routine. For this we must take into account, according to the Nostra Senyora del Remei Clinic, that among its medical specialties is colon cancer, the following recommendations:

– Minimize white sugar

– Consume olive oil, not sunflower or corn oil, since it does not stimulate inflammation.

– Avoid hydrogenated vegetable fats such as margarine and all animal fats loaded with omega.

– Reduce consumption of red meat and processed

– And reduce meals with high salt content

And on the other hand, we must increase the consumption of:

-Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, white and red cabbage cooked by steaming.

– Fresh fruits very well washed

– Red berries

– Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids

– Ginger that can be ground or grated to add to tea or meals.

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