Qatar Cancer Society raises awareness on colorectal cancer

Doha: Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) has launched ‘It’s all about prevention’ campaign to raise awareness on colorectal cancer, which is the second common cancer between both genders, first common cancer across men and third common cancer across females in Qatar, according to Qatar National Cancer Registry (QNCR), Ministry of Public Health-2016.

The Head of Professional Development and Scientific Research Department at QCS, Dr. Hadi Mohamad Abu Rasheed (pictured), said: “Over 150 cases were diagnosed with colon cancer in Qatar, 67% of the cases in Qatar were males and 33% were females, 74% of the cases were Non-Qatari, while 26% were Qatari, 69.9% of colon cancer patients have the chance to survive four years later after getting diagnosed, noted that 55-59 years old was the highest age group with cancer incidences, in both genders, according to QNCR.

Head of Health Education Department, Heba Nassar said: “This campaign aims to raise awareness about colorectal cancer which is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the colon or the rectum. Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some types of polyps can transform into cancer over the course of several years, but not all polyps become cancer.”

“There are non-modifiable risk factors such as age, gender and family history. Death rate from colorectal cancer increases with age and people over 50 years of age are more prone to the disease. Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rate are higher in men. A person is at a higher risk of developing the disease if his first-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children) have the history of colorectal cancer or polyps,” she added.

She said that the risk is even higher if that relative was diagnosed with cancer when he or she was younger than 45 years and if more than one first-degree relative was affected. “Moreover, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and diabetes increase the risk of colorectal cancer,” said Heba Nassar.

On the modifiable risk factors, Nassar explained: “Obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, food high in red meat and processed meats and lack of physical activity increase the risk of colorectal cancer.”

Symptoms of the disease include bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool which may make it look dark, a change in the shape of the stool, cramping or abdominal pain, a feeling of discomfort or an urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need to have one, new onset of constipation or diarrhoea that lasts for more than a few days, unintentional weight loss, weakness and fatigue.

The chance of the disease can be minimised to a great extent my refraining from smoking and controlling body weight. “Get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. Physical activity has a demonstrable protective effect against bowel cancer. Limit your consumption of red meat. Studies show that bowel cancer risk is 17-30 percent higher if a person eats 100-120g of red meat every day. Decrease portions or choose chicken or fish instead, eat more fruits and vegetables,” said  Heba Nassar.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar