Colorectal cancer (CRC), which affects the large intestine or rectum, is the second most common malignancy in men and women and the third deadliest in the world. In 2020, the National Cancer Institute (INCA), reported that approximately 40,000 cases were diagnosed, with 20,576 deaths reported in 2019.
According to the Brazilian Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SOBED) and the Brazilian Society of Coloproctology (SBCP), the March Azul Marinho campaign was created to raise awareness among the population, health professionals and managers about the importance of diagnosis and early treatment for colorectal cancer. . .
Coloproctologist Roberta Krause Romero, who operates at the Dois Pinheiros Hospital and Maternity Hospital, explained that the treatment depends on the stage of the disease. It can be endoscopic with removal of the tumor by colonoscopy or, in more advanced cases, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be necessary.
“Patients need to be aware of the risk factors. If you are over 45, follow a diet high in fat and meat, low in fiber, are obese, sedentary, smoke, are a family member with a history of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrium or breast, see your doctor and do the colonoscopy exam,” he warned.
The specialist also explained that certain family genetic conditions (such as familial adenomatous polyposis), as well as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, significantly increase the patient’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.
“The most common symptoms are: blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, abdominal pain and weight loss with no known cause. If the patient has any of these symptoms, he should consult a specialist as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of recovery.
To reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer, the doctor recommends a healthy lifestyle with good practices, such as: avoiding smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, practicing regular physical activity, eating a diet rich in fiber and free from ultra-processed foods, sugars, reduction of red meat consumption and keeping medical appointments.
“Prevention is the best way, so screening, even without symptoms, is indicated, as it facilitates the diagnosis of lesions that precede cancer. Screening is done by colonoscopy examination,” he concluded.