Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer (CRC), also called colon cancer or bowel cancer, is the abnormal growth of cells or polyps in the colon or rectum.

It is one of the most common cancers in the world. In the United Arab Emirates, it is the second-most common cancer among men and third-most common in women with a higher prevalence in men (59%) than women (41%). Recent data shows an increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in the population, with a median age of diagnosis at 51 years old.

No symptoms may occur during the initial stages of polyp growth, but early signs of colorectal cancer may be seen in the following:

  • Change of bowel movement, such as constipation and diarrhea
  • Blood in stools
  • Bloated or painful abdomen
  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss

Causes

  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Obesity and overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption

Prevention

Colorectal cancer is a preventable disease. Risks may decrease considerably by avoiding fatty food and eating high-fiber food like vegetables and fruits, exercising regularly, maintaining optimum body weight, decreasing alcohol intake, and quitting smoking.

While there are often no symptoms during the initial stage, colorectal cancer can be detected early through regular screening or colonoscopy. If treated before symptoms occur and polyps are still non-cancerous, the possibility of healing is 80% or higher. Removal on polyps while they are non-cancerous eliminates the need for a major surgery.

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