Colorectal Cancer (CRC), also known as colon cancer is the number one gastrointestinal cancer in the Philippines according to experts. Recent data gathered by the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology shows that there are over 3,000 new cases of CRC among Filipinos annually. Of these, over 2,000 die.
CRC is highly preventable and treatable when diagnosed early. Increased awareness of the disease and screening could reduce the incidence and mortality rate of CRC.
CRC usually begins with a polyp, which are abnormal growths in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Not all polyps are dangerous, except for the adenoma type which becomes cancerous over the years.
- Age – more than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Family history of CRC or colorectal problems.
- Lifestyle factors that contribute to increased risk include –
- Lack of regular physical activity
- Diet low in fruit and vegetables
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet
- Overweight and obesity
- Excessive alcohol consumption