Kirstie Alley died at the age of 71. The actress was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This disease does not show any obvious symptoms at first. They appear only when the cancer is already in a high stage of development. Therefore, as experts emphasize, preventive examinations are crucial.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, after lung cancer and breast cancer. Over 90 percent cases are diagnosed in people over 50 years of age, but since the mid-1990s, the disease is increasingly appearing in younger people as well.
According to the portal “wrotnikkraka.pl”, approximately 18,000 people are diagnosed every year in Poland. cases of malignant bowel cancer. Early detection of colorectal cancer is crucial to fight the disease and gives patients a better prognosis before the cancer spreads to other organs.
Early symptoms of colorectal cancer
Experts emphasize that colorectal cancer spreads slowly, and its symptoms often appear after the disease begins to clearly progress. According to the American Cancer Society, symptoms such as changes in bowel movements, such as frequent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, dark stools, but also cramps, weight loss and excessive fatigue, can be key.
The tropickraka.pl portal indicates that the first symptoms may escape the patient’s attention, because they are non-specific and resemble common ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. However, noticing such symptoms in yourself should be associated with a consultation with a doctor, as they may mean that the cancer is progressing. That is why prevention is so important before the disease makes itself felt.
Colonoscopy – when to perform the examination
People aged 45 and over should have regular bowel cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy, even if they have no symptoms. Although many people are afraid of this test, it should be carried out because it gives a good chance of detecting cancer in the large intestine or a precancerous form, i.e. a polyp. If no changes in the bowel are found, another colonoscopy is not recommended until ten years later. Another test that can be performed instead of a colonoscopy is a stool analysis for occult blood. They should be done every year.
Who is at risk of colorectal cancer?
The symptoms of cancer do not differ significantly between men and women. In the case of women, however, it is much easier to underestimate them, because they can resemble the signs of the menstrual cycle. These include abdominal cramps, lack of energy and fatigue. Experts emphasize that these types of symptoms, especially if they appear for the first time or are not directly related to menstruation, should be consulted with a doctor.
People with a family history of cancer are particularly at risk of developing colorectal cancer. According to Fight CRC, screening should begin ten years before the age at which the youngest member of the family was diagnosed with the disease. A colonoscopy should be performed every five years.
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