KING’S COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING PROGRAMME
Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon and rectum is the second to third most common cancer in the world. It is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the Gulf Countries and globally. Most patients with polyps and early colorectal cancers do not have any symptoms. The good news is that colorectal cancer is preventable and, if detected early, curable.
King’s Colorectal Cancer Screening programme is led by highly qualified doctors, including accredited colonoscopist British Consultant Colorectal Surgeons, and UK & German Board Certified Gastroenterologists with decades of experience preforming colonoscopy screenings.
Colorectal Cancer Screening in Dubai – What You Need To Know
WHO IS AT RISK?
The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. All men and women aged 40 and older are at risk for developing colorectal cancer and should be screened. Lifestyle choices that may increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer include:
• A sedentary/inactive lifestyle
• Low fiber intake
• Not eating enough grains, fruits, and vegetables
• Being on a diet high in processed food, fats, and red meat
Some families are also at risk based on a genetic history. It can occur at any age, but often starts after the age of 40.
King’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme – Learn More
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Colorectal cancer is often a silent disease, developing with no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
• Blood in or on the stool
• Change in bowel habits
• Stools that are narrower than usual
• General stomach discomfort (bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)
• Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
• Frequent gas pains
• Weight loss for no apparent reason
• Rectal bleeding
• Constant tiredness, or new fatigue during activity that was previously tolerated
If you have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, see your doctor or health professional immediately. While not eve one who has these symptoms will have colon cancer, persistence of these is not normal and requires additional investigation to determine the underlying cause.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE BE SCREENED!
Colorectal cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages. Colon cancer usually starts out as a benign polyp. Colon polyps can be both pre-cancerous and non-pre-cancerous. Polyps can be detected by screening tests and can be removed, thus preventing colorectal cancer. Early cancers can be cured in up to 90% of cases. Once colorectal cancer causes bleeding, change in bowel habits, or abdominal pain, it has usually progressed to a more advanced stage where less than 50% of patients are cured.
WHO SHOULD GET SCREENED!
• Any men or women over the age of 40.
• Any person with a family history of colorectal cancer, especially those who have colorectal cancer in more than 1 generation and in age less than 50, or other types of cancers, including the digestive tract and Gynaecological organs, such as cancer of the ovaries and uterus.
These screening recommendations are for people with no symptoms, however, regardless of age, gender, or family history , any person with recurrent rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain should undergo an evaluation of the colorectal.
WHAT SCREENING TESTS ARE AVAILABLE AT KING’S
A colonoscopy involves using a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look inside your bowel. Abnormal areas may be sampled or removed and sent to the lab for testing. Safe and effective, colonoscopy is the most commonly recommended screening test, as the whole colon is seen and pre-cancerous polyps can be removed, preventing colon cancer. Colonoscopy is the “gold standard” for colorectal cancer screening.
Histopathology – What is it?
Histopathology is a diagnostic process of studying tissues and cells under a microscope to know more about them in regard to a particular disease, and the reason behind the disease. During a colorectal screening, a biopsy is usually done whereby tissue or cells are plucked from a suspicious lump in the colon.
Stool tests are available at King’s to test for colorectal cancer. This is a non-invasive colorectal cancer screening option. However, if the test does show abnormal signs of blood or a possible cancer or pre-cancer, a colonoscopy will be needed to confirm the result, and possibly to remove any abnormal findings or polyps. It’s important to remember the cause of an abnormal result may be a non-cancerous condition, such as ulcers or hemorrhoids. Unlike a colonoscopy, a stool test is not a comprehensive screening test and the chances of missing early stage abnormalities is higher.
King’s College Hospital Dubai doctors work in multidisciplinary teams of specialists to provide comprehensive care for people with colon cancer. Our team includes expert Gastroenterologists, Colorectal Specialists, and General Surgeons.