Blue march: an alert for colorectal cancer

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of cancer is expected to increase by 63% over the next 20 years, with 1.9 million new cases of colorectal cancer. In Brazil, the disease affects more than 40,000 people a year and, with the aging of the population, it is estimated that deaths will increase until 2025. Today, cancer of the colon and rectum is the third killer the most, behind only tumors of the breast (in women) and pulmonary (in men). Hence the importance of the March Blue campaign, which draws attention to the need to combine healthy lifestyle habits with a routine of consultations and periodic examinations.

According to medical specialist and member of the Brazilian Society of Proctology, Gustavo Born, from Lajeado, the main objective of the initiative is to enlighten the population on the attitudes that can change the negative numbers of colorectal cancer. “It is very worrying that today 85% of cases of the disease are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when the chances of a cure are lower. What people need to know is that early diagnosis can represent a 90% chance of treatment success. In other words, colorectal cancer is curable,” he points out.

Colonoscopy

Born warns that prevention is paramount, as symptoms usually appear when the disease is already advanced. “It is recommended that the survey start from the age of 45.” Colonoscopy is the main screening test for polyps, benign lesions that can develop on the inside lining of the large intestine. “These polyps can turn into cancer. Hence the importance of identifying them early, before this happens. The colonoscopy is performed under light general anesthesia and lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. The ideal is to repeat the procedure every five years.

What can cause colorectal cancer?

– Age (usually from the age of 50);

– Personal or family history of polyps (benign lesions of the large intestine;

– Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (eg Crohn’s disease);

– Type 2 diabetes;

What are the main symptoms?

– Blood in stool ;

– Abdominal pain and cramps lasting more than 30 days;

– Change in bowel rhythm (diarrhea or constipation);

– Rapid weight loss, without known cause;

– Anemia, fatigue and weakness.

How to Take Care of Gut Health

– Practice physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day;

– Do not smoke and avoid alcoholic beverages;

– Drink at least two liters of water a day;

– Have a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables;

– Opt for whole grains, such as rice, oats, barley, wheat, among others;

– Reduce the consumption of red meat (maximum 500 grams per week);

– Avoid salty and processed meats, such as sausages and smoked meats;

– Keep the weight adapted to your size;

– Track if you are 45 or older. If you have a case in the family, anticipate.

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