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Colorectal Cancer awareness Month March 2021

by The Welthi Bureau, March 17th, 2021

colorectal cancer awareness month march 2021
 Image used for representational purpose only

Colorectal cancer rates have significantly increased over the past two decades in our country, and this can be attributed to the growth in urbanization and us more welcomingly embracing westernized food habits and lifestyle patterns. It is estimated that every 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women globally is diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

 

Though the numbers are steeply rising, still concerns exist in people's awareness and acceptance of the screening methods. This may be also due to the invasiveness of the screening tool, colonoscopy that is used. But, emphasis needs to be given to Colonoscopy as it not only detects early colorectal cancer but can also help to prevent cancer by identifying precancerous polyps and removing them. Not all polyps detected on colonoscopy turn into cancers, but almost all colorectal cancers start as polyps. Once done with a colonoscopy and found to be normal, it is not needed to repeat it for 10 years in the absence of symptoms.

 

Colonoscopy, is thus a one-step screening test for 10 years. A two-step screening test can also be advised if a person is not ready for a colonoscopy. In this screening, stool is checked for any blood elements and is called Fecal Immunohistochemically Test (FIT). But, a positive FIT result needs to be followed by a colonoscopy. This FIT test needs

to be done once in a year.

 

These screening tests are advocated in 45-75 year age groups, particularly in average risk individuals. Earlier and more frequent screening are advised for individuals with strong family history of colon cancers, especially with younger age of affected relatives.

As the old adage goes ‘Prevention is better than Cure’. Colonoscopy, as a screening tool, can prevent colorectal cancer by identifying precancerous polyps and cure by recognising early cancers.


 Disclaimer: Welthi.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here, and the results may vary from person to person. Read more
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