- Tumors generate around 10 million deaths annually worldwide.
- Colon cancer and breast cancer are classified as those with the highest mortality in Mexico.
- The main reason for its high danger is because most cases are diagnosed when they are in advanced stages.
One of the main problems with tumors is that most cases are diagnosed when they are in advanced stages. When that happens, the chances of cure are lower and there is even a risk of metastasis. The situation is even more alarming when it comes to the colon cancer because it is already considered the second with the highest mortality in Mexico.
With this in mind, during 2020, 14,901 new cases were registered in our country. For this reason, from the point of view of incidence, it occupies third place, only for below the breast and prostate.
Colon cancer mortality
However, during the same period this tumor caused just over 7 thousand deaths. At this point is where attention should be paid because the Colon cancer is the second with the highest mortality because the only one that exceeds it in this area is breast cancer.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to speak and raise awareness about prevention, signs, symptoms, timely diagnosis and treatment of this condition so present among the Mexican population.
It is important to mention that generally, before the appearance of this type of neoplasia, small formations of tissue develop on the inner wall of the colon or rectum called polyps. Sometimes they can take 10 to 15 years to grow. These polyps, over time, can become cancerous.
As the tumor grows it can spread through the bloodstream, spreading through the intestine or to other organs. It is worth mentioning that 70% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed when the disease is already in an advanced stage. While approximately 95% of tumors start in the mucus-producing glands that protect the inside of the colon and rectum.
Main symptoms and risk factors
There are various signs and symptoms that may suggest the presence of this disease as any abnormality that occurs in the bowel movements. Also the presence of blood or mucus, cramping or abdominal pain that does not go away, weakness and tiredness, unexplained weight loss (unintentional) or the need to have a bowel movement that persists even after doing so.
It is of great importance to raise awareness about the risk factors that could increase the risk of suffering from this disease. The main ones are overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, having a diet rich in red and processed meat, smoking, alcohol abuse, specific diseases such as chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Others on the list are a family history with polyps or colorectal cancer, specific ethnic factors, type 2 diabetes and age, as this disease commonly occurs in people over 50 years of age.
“Timely diagnosis is essential to modify the course of this disease, so it is recommended that people who have risk factors for colon and rectal cancer start screening tests, such as the fecal occult blood test. or a FIT test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, every 5 years, or a colonoscopy, every 10, around 45-50 years of age, since we are talking about a cancer that has the particularity of being very aggressive and difficult to diagnose”, affirmed the Dr. Max Saráchaga, medical director of Amgen Mexico.
Treatment for colon cancer depends on a number of clinical factors, but it is important that the treatment action plan include biomarker testing. These will show information about the normal or abnormal functioning of the cells, the evolution of the neoplasia and help to predict the possible response of the tumor to a treatment scheme.
The introduction of “target therapies” as treatments against advanced-stage or metastatic colorectal cancer have positively impacted the median overall survival of people with this disease. Currently there are various agents that are aimed at the treatment of colon cancer such as tumor growth blockers by inhibiting angiogenesis or epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors.
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