More than 500,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed each year in Europe. In 2020 alone, this represented the loss of more than 240,000 lives, not to mention the devastating effects on families and friends who follow the disease closely. However, as part of European Bowel Cancer Month, Europacolon is aware that this is a preventable type of cancer with a high probability of cure when diagnosed and treated within the early stages of the disease, which does not occur in Portugal because there are delays of eight months.
In Portugal, there are approximately 10,000 new cases diagnosed per year and 17% of deaths caused by cancer are colorectal. “Yet the number of deaths can decrease and the rate of successfully treated cases can increase, by around 90%, if the screening is carried out in time, which does not happen in Portugal, because there are colonoscopies in delay. , as well as the lack of follow-up of positive tests for screening, which are about eight months, which is all the more serious since these people are neither treated nor accompanied, ”warns Vítor Neves, president of ‘Europacolon Portugal.
He goes on to explain: “It is also very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to be aware of the main symptoms, such as: thinner than normal stools, frequent gas, bloating and cramps or blood in the saddles. However, all people between the ages of 50 and 74, even without symptoms and with a family history of the disease, should insist on making regular appointments so that screening can be done and appropriate follow-up and treatment given at a positive test. »
Finally, the representative of Europacolon specifies that “in our association we are always available to talk to patients so that this diagnosis is not more and more a death sentence and that all patients and caregivers are accompanied. I would like to highlight, for example, our most recent support project for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in palliative care at home, which provides patients and caregivers with essential tools to cope with the disease.
Discover the numbers and facts about the disease in the Association’s campaign video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODWslgoysT0
For disease support, contact Europacolon Portugal: 22 540 0441.
Europacolon Portugal – Associação de Luta o Cancro do Intestino is a private institution of social solidarity that promotes the prevention of bowel cancer, spreading knowledge about the disease, its symptoms, the benefit of early diagnosis, attitudes adequate preventive measures and by promoting support for patients, family members and caregivers, as well as the clarification of their rights.