Early detection of colorectal cancer prevents deaths

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Colon cancer screening can save lives

According to an estimate, over 60,000 people in Germany will develop colorectal cancer this year. Colorectal cancer remains the second most common cancer in this country. About 26,000 people die each year from the consequences. Early detection can help save lives.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer. According to an estimate by the Robert Koch Institute's Center for Cancer Registry Data, 63,900 people will develop colorectal cancer in Germany this year. Colorectal cancer remains the second most common cancer in this country. About 26,000 people die each year from the consequences. And that, although this type of cancer would usually be curable if it was recognized early. Regular preventive examinations make it possible to identify and remove polyps as precursors to cancer at an early stage. However, the acceptance of the current preventive medical check-up is very low among German citizens.

Fear of a colonoscopy Only 2.5 percent of all insured people use early detection every year. Above all, this has to do with the fear of colonoscopy (colonoscopy). However, this method is the best way to identify intestinal polyps and remove them immediately. Many doctors stress that fears are inappropriate because colonoscopy is a painless procedure. Statutory health insurers between the ages of 50 and 54 have been able to have a test for hidden blood in their stool (occult blood test) as part of early cancer detection since 2002. And from 55 years of age there is a right to a colonoscopy. If the examination result is normal, a colonoscopy is possible again after ten years.

Hardly any complaints in the early stages If patients have complaints such as blood in the stool, inflammatory bowel diseases or other risk factors, health insurance companies also cover the costs for an earlier examination. Colorectal cancer has little discomfort in the early stages and there are no typical signs that indicate this disease. However, thanks to early detection, colorectal cancer is already diagnosed in three-quarters of patients at an early stage. However, in the remaining quarter, the disease was already advanced at the time of diagnosis and spread cancer cells to other organs such as the liver or lungs, where they metastasized.

Healthy lifestyle contributes to colorectal cancer prevention In addition to colonoscopy, a healthy lifestyle also contributes to colorectal cancer screening. For example, the virologist and Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen has investigated how eating red meat can cause infections and colon cancer. He came to the conclusion that those who regularly eat red meat have an approximately 20 to 30 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer. It is striking that colorectal cancer is rare in countries where European-Asian beef is rarely eaten. Other studies have also shown that fat in the abdomen plays a role in the development of colon cancer. As has been the case for years, March is the month of colon cancer. This month, health organizations, companies, cities, clinics and private individuals are committed to colorectal cancer screening. (sb)

Image: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

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Video: Colorectal Cancer: How You Can Prevent It

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