‘HEALTH CHECKS SHOULD NOT BE NEGLECTED’
Based on Ministry of Health statistics, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among females in Turkey, and fourth most common among males. It has been stated that even though the causes for the cancer were not well understood, environmental and familial factors played a significant role in the development of this type of cancer, and that individuals 50 and over should get regular check-ups for early diagnosis.
Deniz Harputlu, Lecturer at IUE Department of Nursing, indicated that colorectal cancers usually begin as polyps or adenomas in the intestinal walls and turn into carcinoma over time. Harputlu said that it could take 5-10 years to develop. “Usually the symptoms are feeling full or bloated, pain, losing weight with no known reason, finding blood in the stool, and unexplained anaemia, having diarrhoea or constipation. Age and family history are the most important risk factors. Also, people with breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer are at risk to develop colon cancer,” stated Harputlu.
‘Early Diagnosis Saves Lives’
Harputlu stated that early diagnosis increased the chance of treatment and saved lives. She said that it was very important for those, especially in the risk group, to get regular check-ups done even if they did not have any symptoms. Harputlu stated the following:
“People 50 and over need to get a fecal occult blood test annually, and get lower part of their colon checked every 5 years, and a complete check every 10 years. Exercising regularly has proved to decrease the risk of many cancers including colorectal cancer. People should lose excess weight, stop smoking, and consume less alcohol and more healthy food.”