Colon cancer is one of the few tumours that can be diagnosed early before symptoms becaome noticeable.
Doctors at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja say that it can be detected with a non-invasive test like the fecal occult blood test, a check that looks for blood in your poop, or feces.
Colorectal cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor in Spain with the second highest rate of mortality, both in men and in women. In Spain, 32,000 new cases are diagnosed every year which results in the death of more than 14,000 people
But despite its incidence and mortality, it is one of the most approachable and, if diagnosed in time, curable cancers in more than 90% of cases.
According to Dr. Pedro Bretcha, President of the Spanish Society of Surgical Oncology (SEOQ) and a specialist in surgical oncology at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja , it is possible to reduce or eliminate risk factors , especially those related to food, to alcohol, tobacco and physical exercise or lifestyle.
Feeding: diets rich in animal fats (red meat) and low in fibre can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Physical inactivity: a sedentary life favours the risk of this disease.
Tobacco use: increases the risk of suffering from polyps, which are usually the precursors of this tumour.
Consumption of alcohol: it seems that alcoholic beverages favour the growth of the cells of the mucosa of the colon, giving rise to the manifestation of polyps.
The vast majority of colon cancers are sporadic. People with a close relative who is suffering with cancer have a higher risk of suffering from it. It is also believed that the danger increases with age: 90% are diagnosed after 50 years and, and as people get older, the risk increases.
Stool analysis is as effective as colonoscopy in detecting cancer
Dr. José Farré Alegre, chief of General Surgery and a specialist in Oncological Surgery at the Hospital explains that, “in terms of early detection, there is consensus that all those without specific risk factors should be tested from 50 years of age. There are several types of tests: a colonoscopy every 10 years, a CT colonography every five years, a sigmoidoscopy every five years, or a blood test every year which has proven to be as effective as other diagnostic tests.
In contrast, those with an increased risk should enter a program at a younger age and take the tests more frequently. People who have a close relative under 60 with colon cancer or two close relatives of any age, should have a colonoscopy from 40 years and thereafter, every five years.
Those whose close relative is diagnosed over the age of 60, or who have two or more affected close relatives, should have a colonoscopy starting at age 50.