Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
1 Mar 2023
8 mins
Table Of Content
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

    The beginning of March is marked as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month


    Colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer among men all over the world, and colon cancer cases are among the top five most often reported cancer cases in India. Colorectal cancer awareness month 2023 limelights the disease and inspires more individuals to get screened at age 45 and promotes healthy living habits that can reduce a person's risk of developing cancer in the colon, rectum, or anus, collectively called colorectal cancer.


    What Is Colorectal Cancer?


    Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell division. Colorectal cancer arises when this type of tumor occurs in the colon or rectum (CRC). The large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum (colorectum) as well as the anus, is the last section of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. The large intestine is also called a large bowel; hence CRC is also known as bowel cancer.


    Prevalence Of Colorectal Cancer


    Colorectal cancer is most prevalent in Asia, accounting for more than half of all cases and fatalities. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the global burden of colorectal cancer will rise by 56% between 2020 and 2040, reaching more than 3 million new cases annually. The predicted rise in disease-related deaths is 69%, to reach approximately 1.6 million deaths worldwide in 2040.


    Objectives Of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2023


    • Increasing colorectal cancer screening, detection, and prevention awareness.
    • Raising awareness of colorectal cancer risk factors.
    • To support colorectal cancer survivors and their families


    Why Is Screening Important?


    Screening can detect early signs of colon and rectal cancer, allowing doctors to take preventive measures. Colorectal cancer can be prevented with regular screening beginning at 45. Colorectal cancer screenings should be done regularly if you are 45 to 75 years old. If you're under 45 and suspect you're at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, or if you're over 75, consult with your physician about screening.


    Screening procedures include the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer can be prevented by colonoscopy screening since precancerous polyps identified during the process can be removed simultaneously. However, it is predicted that early diagnosis of this condition might prevent well over half of the deaths that occur each year.


    Early Signs Of Colorectal Cancer


    In the early stages of colon cancer, many people experience no symptoms. That is why colorectal cancer is called a silent killer.


    • A persistent change in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
    • Change in the consistency of the stool
    • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
    • Continuous stomach discomforts, such as cramps, gas, or pain
    • A sense that intestines are not emptied
    • Weakness or tiredness
    • Sudden weight loss.
    • Decreased appetite

     Risk Factors Of Colorectal Cancer


    Colorectal cancer has several risk factors. Some of them can be changed, while others cannot.


    Modifiable Risk Factor


    1. Changes in diet
    2. Including more physical activity
    3. Cigarette and alcohol usage
    4. Obesity


    Non-Modifiable Risk Factor


    1. Family history: Having a  family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
    2. Personal history: People who have previously had colorectal cancer or polyps are more likely to develop the disease again.
    3. Genetic diseases: A genetic syndrome that causes colorectal cancer, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
    4. Age: Colorectal cancer risk increases with age. The majority of instances are found in adults over the age of 50.

    Nutritional Evidence That Increases And Decreases The Risk Of Colorectal Cancer


    Increase The Risk Of Colorectal CancerDecrease The Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
    • Consuming red meat
    • Consuming processed meat
    • Consuming alcoholic drinks
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Low consumption of non-starchy vegetables
    • Low consumption of fruit
    • Consumption of foods that contain haem
    • Being physically active
    • Consuming whole grains
    • Consuming foods containing dietary fiber
    • Consuming dairy products
    • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
    • Foods containing vitamin C like spinach
    • Consuming fish

    In addition to diet, nutrition, and physical activity, smoking 40 cigarettes daily doubles the risk of colorectal cancer. Other diseases, like inflammatory bowel diseases, can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.


    Cancer Doesn’t Have To Define You


    Colorectal cancer awareness is represented by the dark blue ribbon. The dark blue reflects the eternal memory of those who have lost their lives to the disease, and it also represents the bright hope for a future free of colorectal cancer. Colon cancer is curable and does not always result in death. In March, we gather to bring hope and spread awareness on early detection, the importance of screening, and the prevention of colorectal cancer.


    Key Facts

    • Colorectal cancer can involve either the colon or the rectum. It arises from the cells that line the inside of these organs. Most benign tumors, known as polyps, grow slowly before becoming malignant. It can be removed before it gets malignant if diagnosed early.
    • Colorectal cancer was the third-most common cancer in 2020, with 1.9 million new cases, accounting for 10.7% of all new cases.
    • Colorectal cancer is more prevalent in men than women.
    • Colorectal cancer affects about 1 in 14 men and 1 in 18 women in their lifetime, and 1 in 34 men and 1 in 40 women die from it.
    • Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the world
    • Screening is the most effective method of preventing or detecting this condition early when it is most curable. CRC has a 90% survival rate when detected early.
    Written by
    Dr. Karpagam AnandMedical Content Writer
    AboutPharm D
    Tags :Colorectal cancerColorectal cancer awareness monthColon and rectum cancerThird most common cancer Risk factors of colorectal cancer