According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, killing approximately 9.6 million people. Colon cancer, or colon cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer. In 2018, 1.03 million people were infected and 783,000 died in the same year. It is a disease of concern, especially since it is more common in Asia. In Singapore, colon cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer among Singaporean men and the eighth most common cancer among women. This means that 1 in 50 men will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
In addition, colon cancer is often asymptomatic in its early stages. Even if these symptoms are present, doctors especially do not immediately suspect inflammation in the stomach, as these symptoms are not diagnostic of common diseases that affect the stomach, such as GERD and gastritis. By the time the diagnosis was confirmed, the cancer had already progressed to an advanced stage. Therefore, colon cancer is often referred to as the “silent killer”.
Who is at risk for this cancer and what can be done to prevent it? This article will explain everything you need to know.
How does colon cancer develop?
The stomach is part of the digestive system and serves as a food storage facility. It connects the esophagus to the small intestine and aids in digestion. Colorectal cancer occurs when cells in the intestinal wall grow and divide without stopping. Eventually, these cells become scaly and inflammatory, and the cancer invades deep into the colon wall.
What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
As mentioned earlier, pancreatic cancer does not show any obvious signs or symptoms in its early stages. When operational, they include:
Pain in upper abdomen
Unexplained weight loss
Frequent anorexia and heartburn
Feeling very full after eating
He was winded, and he was screaming all the time
Chronic abdominal pain
black urine or bloody blood
As you can see, these symptoms are very similar to other situations and not very unique. It is therefore important to consult a doctor if any of the above symptoms occur, especially if they recur.
Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?
You can get stomach cancer if:
Family history of gastric cancer
Most colorectal cancers are sporadic, but about 10% are familial. Studies have shown that people with colon cancer are three times more likely to have a family history of cancer, which is the highest in the adult population with the exception of ovarian cancer.
History of Helicobacter pylori infection
I wrote a more detailed article about Helicobacter pylori, but people with Helicobacter pylori infection are actually more likely to develop stomach ulcers and cancer. This risk is highest if you are male and over 55 years of age.
Previous history of gastrointestinal lymphoma and gastroesophageal reflux
Although most types of polyps do not increase the risk of colon cancer, adenomas can sometimes turn cancerous.
Chronic chronic gastritis
A diet high in salty and processed foods
Low fiber diet
In addition, men aged 55 and older who smoke are most at risk.
How is stomach cancer diagnosed in Singapore?
There are several ways to detect colon cancer. I usually perform diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, and/or CT scan, upper GI series, positron emission tomography scan, or MRI scan. Gastroscopy allows the patient to see the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. I will also take a biopsy (a sample of a cell) and send it to a lab to look at cancer.
When cancer is diagnosed, diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, is done to determine where the cancer is and how far it has spread.