In most patients, by the time the condition is properly diagnosed, about 50 to 60 per cent already have advanced stage cancer (stage 3 or 4). Screening methods for colorectal cancer Faecal immunological stool test (FIT) or faecal occult blood test (FOBT), which can be done in the privacy and comfort of ones home, helps detect blood in stool that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The user simply collects stool samples for two consecutive days using a simple test kit and sends it back to a lab for processing. If the results are positive above a certain predetermined level, a colonoscopy is then needed to properly rule out colon cancer. However, when taking the FIT, care must be taken not to consume certain medications prior to the test as they may interfere with the results. Related article: TCM for cancer treatment, is it as safe as it claims to be? Colonoscopy In a colonoscopy, after prior bowel cleansing, a fibre-optic flexible tube is inserted up the rectum. Although generally not painful, this test can be uncomfortable; hence a mild sedative is usually given to relieve any discomfort. As these sedatives have a mild amnesic effect, a patient may even forget the specific details of the procedure. As a colonoscopy detects both pre-cancerous lesions (such as polyps) as well as cancerous ones, it remains the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. Polyps can be immediately removed during the colonoscopy. Early detection is your best protection against colorectal cancer Citing the survival rates for different stages of colon cancer, Associate Professor Tang explains, In stage 1 of the disease, the cure rate is greater than 90 per cent. In the later stages 3 and 4, the average five-year survival rates are 40-60 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Hence, early detection is of paramount importance. Always remember, when it comes to colorectal cancer: If youre above 50, insist on going for a screening every three years whether you have symptoms or not.
Colorectal Cancer Increasing in Young Adults
The increase was 33 percent for men, but not statistically significant for women. There was no increase for African-Americans, but unfortunately, this group of 20 to 49-year-old men and women has a higher risk. Their numbers are 12.7 and 10.8 cases per 100,000. Reasons for the Increase Among Young Adults Researchers believe the reasons for the increase in colorectal cancer in the younger generation are from changes in the American lifestyle. Diets that consist of a high intake of red and processed meat and diets that are low in milk and calcium have been liked as the possible cause. As a nation, many of the young eat hamburgers and sodas at fast-food places. The result is not only a rise in cancer, but also a rise in obesity and low physical activity. The American Cancer Society recommends that people eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise should be done for at least 30 minutes for five days a week. This will help protect against cancer, but in not a 100 percent protection against a person having colorectal cancer. Screening Usually Not Considered When Patient is Below Age 50 For most people under the age of 50, screening for colorectal cancer is generally not done. Doctors do the screening only when the patient has a family history, chronic inflammatory bowel disease or a predisposing genetic condition. Since they don’t screen most patients below 50, this gives the benign polyps time to turn into invasive cancer.