Early de­tec­tion of colon cancer key to sur­vival

The Sun (Malaysia) - - GOOD VIBES -

A NEW study has reaf­firmed the im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion of col­orec­tal cancer, which, if dis­cov­ered in time, can be cured in 90% of cases.

Gas­troen­terol­o­gists re­port that 85% of op­er­a­tions be­tween 2000 and 2015 to treat the dis­ease were con­ducted on ad­vanced tu­mours. Five years later, only 49% of those treated had sur­vived.

The sec­ond most preva­lent cancer among women and the third most preva­lent among men, colon cancer is of­ten fa­tal.

But nine out of 10 cases can be cured with early de­tec­tion. How­ever, if the dis­ease is de­tected when in­testi­nal oc­clu­sion has al­ready oc­curred, the five-year sur­vival rate dwindles to less than 50%.

For gas­troen­terol­o­gists, this find­ing un­der­lines the im­por­tance of pre­ven­tive ex­am­i­na­tions for those over 50.

Be­tween 2000 and 2015, re­searchers mon­i­tored 2,325 pa­tients (1,226 men and 1,099 women), who were treated as a mat­ter of ur­gency in 58 cen­tres for lo­calised and metas­ta­sised colon cancer. The av­er­age age in the study group was 74.2 years, with 1,306 un­der 70.

The study found that the ma­jor­ity of pa­tients (87% of those with right colon cancer and 82% of those with left colon cancer) who un­der­went emer­gency surgery for ad­vanced tu­mours, which had not been di­ag­nosed early enough, spent two weeks in hos­pi­tal: a stay that would have been much shorter if the dis­ease had been de­tected sooner.

For pa­tients with cancer on the right side of the colon, the post­op­er­a­tive mor­tal­ity rate was 10%, with an over­all com­pli­ca­tion rate of 52% (36% med­i­cal and 28% sur­gi­cal mor­bid­ity).

For pa­tients with cancer on the left side, the mor­tal­ity rate was 9%, with an over­all com­pli­ca­tion rate of 50% (32% med­i­cal and 30% sur­gi­cal).

More than 15% of pa­tients who un­der­went emer­gency surgery also re­quired per­ma­nent ar­ti­fi­cial anus.

“There are ma­jor dif­fer­ences in short-term re­sults (mor­tal­ity and post­op­er­a­tive com­pli­ca­tion), but also in the long term (fiveyear sur­vival rate) that de­pend on the stage of the dis­ease and the pos­si­ble need for emer­gency surgery,” points out Pa­trick Pes­saux, the head of the hep­a­to­bil­iary and pan­cre­atic sur­gi­cal unit at the Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal of Stras­bourg.

For those with a fam­ily his­tory of col­orec­tal cancer, or in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease, doc­tors strongly rec­om­mend pre­ven­tive colono­scopies af­ter the age of 40, whose goal is not to de­tect cancer, but to pre­vent the dis­ease from declar­ing.

Peo­ple in this cat­e­gory are up to 10 times more likely to de­velop col­orec­tal cancer.

A colonoscopy per­formed un­der gen­eral anes­thetic al­lows a doc­tor to ex­am­ine the in­testi­nal wall and to de­tect the pres­ence of polyps (be­nign tu­mours), which can be re­moved dur­ing the pro­ce­dure. – AFP-Re­laxnews a

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