March is celebrated as Colorectar Cancer Awareness Month. In connection with the awareness month, the Minister of Public Health, Dangui Oduber, wants to inform and raise awareness in the community about colorectal cancer. It is part of the government’s prevention policy, as indicated in the national plan to prevent NCDs (Noncommunicable diseases). Various stakeholders and with the PAHO are part of this plan.
Around the world, colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. It is in the top 5 most frequently diagnosed cancers in Aruba. Colorectal cancer starts in the pancreas, which is located behind the stomach and is part of the digestive system. The awareness month theme is #letsbeatcoloncancer “let’s fight against colorectal cancer”.
The direct cause of colorectal cancer is still unclear. However, there are various ways with which you could minimize the risks.
Control your feces regularly for any signs of colorectal cancer. If you notice blood, slime, or any irregularity, it is advisable to consult your family physician. It is also important to tell your family physician about your family’s history with colorectal cancer if there is one.
Some factors that can increase the risk of getting colorectal cancer are:
Chronic Colorectal Disease (inflammation);
Frequent exposure to certain chemical fumes.
The risk of getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer increases with age. Research indicates that the majority of colorectal cancer diagnosed are in men. The cause may be the higher tobacco consumption by men compared to women.
Prevention is essential. A well-balanced lifestyle and nutrition are key elements in prevention. In March, the government will emphasize proper nutrition to prevent chronic diseases. Eat more vegetables, fruits and drink plenty of water to help your digestive system.
The Minister encourages the community to exercise, eat healthily and help others live healthier lives. A healthy lifestyle helps prevent chronic diseases land many cancers, including colorectal cancers.