Over the past decade, colorectal cancer has risen to a leading position in terms of frequency of occurrence in Russia and the world – it accounts for more than 10% of diagnoses in the overall structure of oncological diseases. However, this type of cancer is 95% preventable. About what recommendations can help avoid the development of the disease, Anastasia Travnikova, a surgeon, coloproctologist at the SM-Clinic, told Izvestia.
“There are two diseases under the general name “colorectal cancer”: colon cancer and rectal cancer. As a rule, the disease does not occur suddenly – the process of transformation into a malignant tumor can take about 10 years. In the early stages, the disease does not manifest itself in any way, which is why people do not rush to the doctor. In this regard, in 60–70% it is diagnosed already in the later stages, when it is much more difficult to cope with it, ”the doctor noted.
According to her, it is very important not to bring the disease to a state where symptoms are detected (blood and mucus in the stool, chronic abdominal pain, discomfort after eating, bloating, stool disorders, when diarrhea alternates with constipation, morning weakness). And for this you need to follow a number of recommendations.
In particular, the expert recommended to pay attention to the diet. So, you should reduce the intake of fatty foods of animal origin, red meat and include more plant foods rich in fiber in the diet. The greatest protective effect is given by fiber from vegetables and fruits.
“It is also recommended to give up bad habits and move more. The cause of a significant part of cancer is smoking – both active and passive. Frequent alcohol consumption can also contribute to the development of the disease. And if you engage in moderate physical activity every day, then the risk of developing colon cancer will decrease by more than 50%, ”Travnikova emphasized.
It is also important to regularly undergo a colonoscopy, as today it is the only one hundred percent method for detecting cancer and precancerous diseases. After the age of 45, a colonoscopy is recommended every 3-5 years, regardless of the presence of complaints. And if the patient is at risk due to hereditary predisposition, then it is necessary to start earlier.
The expert drew attention to the fact that already during a preventive colonoscopy, the doctor can immediately remove all detected formations and thus prevent the development of the disease.
An alternative to this procedure, according to Travnikova, is a virtual colonoscopy (or CT colonography) – the procedure is absolutely painless and does not require sedation.
“The procedure allows you to assess the condition of the large intestine in detail, identify defects in the mucous membrane and the presence of neoplasms. Since it is impossible to remove polyps during a tomography, if suspicious objects are found, the doctor will refer the patient to a conventional colonoscopy. In order to prevent colon cancer, a virtual colonoscopy should be performed every five years, ”the doctor said.
On May 24, the head of the oncological center “SM-Clinic”, Doctor of Medical Sciences Alexander Seryakov, warned that the use of genetically modified foods that prevail in the diet of a modern person creates great risks of developing cancer. According to the doctor, in general, the statistics of oncological diseases in Russia today is far from positive: there are more and more people with cancer every year.