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Abnormal Colorectal Cancer Screening Results Without Colonoscopy Increases Colorectal Cancer Mortality Risk by 64%!

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  • Modify Date:Modify Date:2023/09/27
  • Publish Date:Publish Date:2023/05/08

According to the latest Taiwan Cancer Registry data, colorectal cancer has been the most common cancer for 14 consecutive years, with a new case diagnosed every thirty minutes. To mitigate the risk of colorectal cancer among the general population, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) provides scientifically validated quantitative fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) for people aged between 50 and 74. Screening is conducted once every two years, which has been shown to effectively reduce colorectal cancer mortality by 35%. Colorectal cancer is often preventable, and early detection offers a good prognosis for successful treatment. The public is advised to undergo FIT as the initial step. In cases where the results are abnormal, scheduling a colonoscopy as soon as possible is recommended to avoid missing the opportunity for medical treatment.

It is crucial to undergo a follow-up colonoscopy after receiving abnormal screening results.

Chiu Han-Mo, a physician and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at National Taiwan University, has emphasized that individuals with abnormal FIT results are 20–30 times more likely to develop colorectal cancer than the general population. Furthermore, failure to undergo a colonoscopy, identify symptoms, and treat them could increase colorectal cancer mortality rates by 64%. To maintain bowel health, it is crucial to undergo regular fecal occult blood tests, and if abnormal results are found, a subsequent colonoscopy should not be ignored. The HPA strongly urges eligible individuals to have regular screenings for colorectal cancer. If the FIT results are abnormal, it is essential to have a subsequent colonoscopy to detect polyps and early-stage cancer. The progression of precancerous lesions and cancers should be halted as soon as possible.

Abnormal screening results and delayed colonoscopy examinations increase the likelihood of developing cancer.

The survival rate for early-stage colorectal cancer is high, with a 5-year survival rate of over 90%, whereas stage 4 colorectal cancer has a 5-year survival rate of less than 20%. In addition, research has shown that delayed diagnosis of colorectal cancer in individuals with abnormal screening results significantly increases their risk of developing the disease. Those who undergo a colonoscopy more than a year after receiving abnormal results have a 2.8-fold increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Individuals with abnormal screening results are advised to undergo a colonoscopy within six months. If your screening results are abnormal, which means you are in a high-risk group for polups or colorectal cancer, it is crucial to undergo a colonoscopy promptly. During the procedure, polyps can be removed, eliminating the need for additional surgery.

Avoiding risk factors and saying “no” to colorectal cancer.

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer include being overweight, a lack of physical activity, smoking, and having a family history of the disease. Regular physical activity is recommended to boost the body's metabolism, along with a diet rich in fresh, high-fiber vegetables and fruits, in order to improve gastrointestinal motility. It is advisable to avoid consuming red meat, processed meat, and high-fat cuts.

While combating the pandemic, cancer prevention should not be overlooked. Most medical institutions provide a FIT kit, which can be obtained by presenting a National Health Insurance Card. Stool specimens can be collected at home and submitted afterward, making the procedure straightforward and risk-free without the need for an extended stay in the medical institution. Given that the incidence of colorectal cancer rises with age, routine screening is the only way to maintain bowel health, prevent colorectal cancer, and ward off colorectal cancer!