Colorectal Cancer: It might be a sensitive topic, but it’s one that deserves just as much awareness and media time as some of the more widely publicised cancers. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, and in the Philippines, is the number one gastrointestinal cancer, with more than 3000 new cases diagnosed each year
So what exactly is Colorectal Cancer? Like all cancers, colorectal cancer results from the abnormal growth of cells. These cells invade an organ within the body, and have the capacity to spread to other parts of the body, and infect them too. Colorectal cancer is sometimes known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in the Philippines, a time to raise the profile of this cancer, and to educate people about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for this deadly disease.
Although colorectal cancer sometimes presents with no symptoms, some things to be aware of are:
- Blood in the stool, or bleeding from the rectum
- A change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea) that lasts for more than a few days
- Abdominal pain
- Body weakness
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you consult your doctor.
There are also a number of risk factors for colorectal cancer, including;
- Age (anyone over 50 is at a greater risk)
- Smokers and alcohol drinkers (both can destroy the gastrointestinal tract, leading to colorectal cancer)
- A diet with too many highly processed foods, and low amounts of fibre.
Did you know that colorectal cancer may also run in your family? If any of your first relatives, such as your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles, have had colorectal cancer, then you may be at risk of developing it too. Although only around 5 to 10 per cent of colorectal cancer is hereditary, revealing your risk rate is the first step to peace of mind, and will help you make a number of preventative measures that you can adopt to reduce this risk.
One simple way to ascertain your risk of developing colorectal cancer is by doing a DNA test.
The Genetic Predisposition Health DNA Test from EasyDNA Philippines is available to establish whether you have a genetic predisposition to developing colorectal cancer, and 33 other diseases and conditions.
Your DNA sample will be analysed in our accredited laboratories, to see if it contains key genetic markers associated with the development of a particular disease.
Some of the conditions include:
- Colorectal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration
- Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Your results will be returned to you in a timely manner, and will include a personalised report, ranking your genetic predisposition, and your estimated lifetime risk of developing a certain disease compared to the average population.
So get your butt into gear, and take control of the future of your health. Remember that with early intervention, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable!