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Staying away from the threat of colorectal cancer amounts to fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and early intervention to maintain intestinal health.

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  • Modify Date:Modify Date:2018/02/23
  • Publish Date:Publish Date:2017/07/09

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers contracted by the Taiwanese population. According to the 2014 Cancer Registry data, around 15764 people contracted colorectal cancer, which leads to the highest prevalence in Taiwan for the past nine years consecutively. As a matter of fact, colorectal cancer is not as serious as how most people imagined it to be, and is not a terminal illness. According to the National Cancer Institute of the United States, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. About 50% of colorectal cancer cases are preventable through changing dietary habits, exercising, as well as preventing overweight and obesity, while research also has proven that regular screening with FOBT can significantly reduce colorectal cancer mortality by 20%-30%. Patients often have a greater survival rate by early detection of colorectal cancer, following physician’s instructions, and proper treatment. The 2014 Cancer Registry data indicates that if a patient do not receive proper treatment within 3 months of detecting colorectal cancer, the mortality rate is as high as 47% within a year, which is three times higher than the 13% mortality rate when properly treated. Therefore, delaying in tumor detection and treatment is more like a killer than cancer itself.

Regular FOBT would reduce cancer mortality by 20%-30%!

It is not hard to detect colorectal cancer early. The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is not only safe, but also simple to handle. By using unbreakable polypropylene tubes to collecting faeces samples integrated into the screw cap, which can n detect hemoglobin (blood) that cannot be seen by the naked eye As the prevalence of the colorectal cancer is greater after the age of 50, the Health Promotion Administration provides free FOBT that does not have dietary limitations before the test to citizens between 50 and 74 years of age every two years.

The test sensitivity is as high as 80%, but must be done once every two years to ensure that any bleeding is not overlooked. If the test result is positive, there is a fifty percent chance of it being cancer or a polyp, and the good news is that polyps can be removed to prevent further development into cancer. In recent years, thanks to the medical advancement in cancer treatment, cancer has become a chronic disease. According to clinical data of patients receiving proper medical care around the world, the survival rate of colorectal cancer has increased steadily. The Health Promotion Administration advises the public to discuss proper treatment with medical professionals in event of detecting cancer. Following clinically unproven or traditional remedies may delay the golden period for proper treatment, and missed opportunities for treatment may result in irreversible consequence.

Three major tips for a healthy digestive system: healthy diet, regular exercise, and preventing obesity.

The fundamental technique of preventing colorectal cancer is to maintain healthy eating habits. Food such as sausage, dried sausage, bacon, processed meat (smoked, salted or processed with nitrite), and red meat (pork, lamb, and beef) have all been proven to increase the risk of cancer. Replacing red meat and processed red meat for white meat such as fish and lean chicken is recommended. Furthermore, having more green vegetables are advised, and replacing deep-fried and grilled cooking with plain boiled cooking to reduce less burden on the body.

Last, lack of exercise and obesity are major risk for cancer. It is recommended to cultivate a regular exercise habit, and engage in weight management. Regular cancer screening after the age of 50 and healthy lifestyle habits will prevent developing colorectal cancer.