Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Debugging The Myth and Getting Aware of Colorectal Cancer

In history, myths does have its origin, but in medicine,myths are beliefs that need to be debug because if not life may lead to terminal illnesses or even death. We, Filipinos have so many beliefs that more often we tend to take it lightly and not considers any preventive measures. Sometimes we shrug our shoulders and says 'it was nothing'. Yes, that was nothing for now but eventually will grow something that is irreversible.

One of today's feared life taker is cancer and one of the fast growing in number is the persons with what you call of a terminal cancer, Colon Cancer. In a more scientific term it is called the colorectal disease or commonly known as Colon Cancer. Silent as they are with the symptoms type of cancer is also a silent killer.

A few days ago, the Philippine Society of Enterologist with their sponsor Westmont, a division of Unilab, conducted a media briefing regarding their advocacy, which is the Colon Cancer Awareness and also the upcoming Cancer Awareness month.
The main thrust of the organization is to make a noise regarding Colon Cancer, the myths people believed about it, and the initiative in calling the attention of the government to have every Filipino citizens above 50 years old to be screened. According to DR. FREDERICK DY, Gastronintestinal oncologist and a leading expert in endoscopy, "Colorectal cancer has certainly become a real concern in the Philippines. The growing number of incidence and mortality worldwide have put the disease as the third most common type of cancer for both men and women, after lung and breast cancers."

According to the recent statistics of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) foremost cancer research and statistics project, GLOBOCAN, there were 4,901 deaths of the 8,553 incidences of colorectal cancer in the Philippines in 2012, which means that more than half of those diagnosed have died from the disease.

It is unfortunate that the level of awareness about colorectal cancer here in the Philippines is much lower than that for other types of cancer such as breasts or lungs. Doctors also find difficulty in urging patients to adopt lifestyle changes for the prevention if colorectal cancer. The earlier the better it is prevented.
“Colorectal cancer us influenced by both modifiable and non-modifiable risks, one of which is lifestyle and diet. But as a lifestyle illness, it is also asymptomatic (displaying no symptoms) is the initial stage,” Dr. Dy says.

As what Dr. Dy mentioned, modifiable risk factors are those that can be changed like obesity, cigarette smoking, alcoholic beverage intake, physical inactivity and increased consumption of red meat. A diet rich in animal fat generally increases risk, while eating food rich in fiber and calcium may possible reduce the risk.

Aside from the modifiable risk factors there are also the non-modifiable risks factor in colorectal cancer. Some of these non-modifiable are the gender, age, and family history. According to Dr. Dy these are factors that cannot be altered. These factors are inherent in a person like the family history of the disease and gender.

With the increase in incidences, colon cancer is now among the deadliest, and recent data show that it's not slowing down either.

"Colon cancer doesn't begin as cancer immediately; it starts with pre-malignant precursors called polyps. If left attended, these polyps grow over time, eventually becoming cancer. For young people, the risk is low, but they are not immune to it. We have young adults developing colorectal cancer. The occurrence is generally uncommon, but if someone has symptoms referable to colorectal cancer, no matter the age, they need to see their doctor or better if they consult a gastroenterologist. Most of colorectal cancer occurs sporadically but some have a strong genetic background. There are also genetic syndromes that also develop a significant number of polyps at a younger age," said Dy.
As to what is always said "prevention is the best medicine" and for the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology, they are aiming to inform every Filipino about colon cancer and encourages everyone to have themselves be screened, most especially and a must are those people ages 50 and up. It is preventable all is needed is the cooperation of every Filipino and of course through the help of the government and every individual.

So, for the Colon Cancer Awareness month which will happen this March, let us all be aware and be responsive to the call.

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