General

Extra Care is Needed to Detect Colorectal Cancer Red Flag Symptoms ..

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30 Sep 2016 - General
 

The incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC) is rising rapidly in Asia. It seems that ethnicity has an important etiological role in CRC in Asia. However the incidence, anatomical distribution and mortality of CRC among Asian populations are not different from those in Western countries.  Around one in five bowel cancer patients diagnosed after an emergency presentation have displayed at least one cancer ‘alarm symptom’ in the year leading up to their diagnosis, according to Cancer Research UK-funded study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

  •  Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in the stool.
  • A change in your normal toilet habits, going more frequently for example
  • A lump in the anorectal canal or abdomen, commonly felt on the right hand side
  • A feeling of needing to strain in the back passage, as if you need to pass a bowel motion, even after opening your bowels
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anaemia symptoms like pallor and easy fatigability

The study found that ‘red flag’ symptoms were much more common in patients who were diagnosed via non-emergency routes, and that patients diagnosed as an emergency often did not display these symptoms strongly associated with bowel cancer.

Read more: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2016-09-28-1-in-5-emergency-bowel-cancer-patients-had-symptoms-before-diagnosis

In the Philippines, colon cancer the fifth most common malignancy. Early stages are largely asymptomatic so its common that we see patients in advanced stages of the disease. Since this disease is curable, our local health sector advocates screening starting the age of 50. It is ideal to get a colonoscopy for early detection of pre-malignant polyps (especially for high risk groups and those with a strong familial background of this malignancy). The recommendation is to do this every 5-10 years. ...
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It’s lack of these ‘red flag’ symptoms in many patients diagnosed as an emergency that makes it much more difficult for GPs to diagnose the cancer early. That is why asking about the family history is extremely important. There are also some helpful tests GPs can rely on. For example there is now increasing evidence on the benefits of using a sensitive faecal immunochemical test as a first line test to triage to further diagnostic testing in low risk but not no risk patients. Another study publi...
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