Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men and second in women. According to WHO, up to 1.2 million cases are diagnosed per year. What factors predispose to the development of bowel cancer Dr. Alexander Myasnikov in your telegram channel.
One of the important factors is heredity. “There are genetically determined forms of bowel cancer, for example, combined in Lynch syndrome,” the doctor emphasized. If the family had cases of not only cancer, but also benign intestinal polyps, then the risk increases markedly. Particular attention should be paid to those relatives who have been diagnosed with the disease. It is extremely dangerous if the disease is found in first-line relatives who have not reached the age of 60 years. If there were such cases, relatives should undergo a colonoscopy 10 years earlier than is usually recommended, that is, at 40 years old instead of 50. Or, alternatively, start undergoing a study 10 years earlier than the pathology was detected in parents.
Another factor is age. Hereditary forms can be observed as early as 25 years old, acquired variants usually do not manifest themselves before the age of 40. “In 90% of cases, it was diagnosed after 50 years. However, in recent years, the statistics are alarming: colon cancer is rapidly getting younger!” – notes the doctor.
The third risk factor is intestinal polyps. Yes, in the vast majority of cases, these polyps will remain benign, but still some variants degenerate into cancer. And here it is extremely important to determine in time whether there are potentially malignant ones. “The danger is primarily large polyps – more than 1 cm and polyps of a certain histological structure, the so-called. “hairy”. Their presence exceeds the risk of developing cancer by 3-4 times,” says the doctor.
Inflammatory diseases can also be a provocateur for the development of cancer. For example, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The reasons for these pathologies are unclear. But again, heredity can be suspected.
Myasnikov identifies diabetes as the fifth risk factor. And the sixth is obesity. The impact of excess weight was studied on the basis of 35,000 cases. “A relationship has been established: an increase in body mass index by 5 kg / m² is accompanied by an increase in the risk of cancer by 24%,” Myasnikov explained.
Improper nutrition also becomes a risk factor. If a person eats little fiber (which is fruits and vegetables), a lot of red meat, especially fried, baked, processed – sausages and sausages, then he is at risk of getting cancer with a greater degree of probability and at a younger age.
Two more risk factors that do not require explanation are drinking and smoking. “Moreover, in smokers, not only intestinal cancer is more common, but also polyps,” the doctor noted.
How to protect yourself?
But not everything is so sad, Myasnikov noted. There is also good news. So, for example, you can name a number of factors that protect against the development of colon cancer. Among them:
– Adequate physical activity.
– Eating a diet high in fiber and reducing red meat consumption – it is better to focus on more fish in the diet. “It has been proven that “fish-eaters” suffer from bowel cancer much less often!” Myasnikov emphasized.
– Taking calcium with vitamin D (consult your doctor for dosages).
– There is some evidence that statins and some other medications have some protective effect.
Bowel cancer is one of the few whose precursors can be detected at an early stage. It is enough to undergo a colonoscopy on time and regularly. The latter, as part of the medical examination, is provided for everyone starting from 50 years old. Repeat, if everything is in order, every 5 years.
The following sources were used in preparing the material:
Telegram channel of Dr. Myasnikova