The following insights provided by Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, past president of the Malaysian Society of Gastroenterology and hepatology (MSGH) are taken from Fit4Life (The Star) dated 12 December 2010.
Based on the National Cancer Registry 2005 report, colon cancer ranks as the third commonest cancer in Malaysia.
It is most frequently occuring cancer among Malaysian men.
The majoirty if colon cancer in Malaysia occur in those aged above 50 but there seems to be a rising incidence of this cancer among younger adults.
By ethnic group, the Chinese account for 60% of all cases, followed by Malay (34%) and Indian (6%).
High risks of colon cancer?
Sporadic colon cancer (i.e. not related to genetic or family history) make up about 70% while the remaining occurs in people with risk factors, for example, those with a family history of the disease.
Causes: diseases of the digestive system (such as inflammatory bowel disease), unhealthy diet and lifestyle (high-fat and high-calorie meals, low dietary fibre intake.
Detection methods: Colon cancer screening (eg. Colonscopy); faecal occult blood test.
Modern treatments: Surgical resection (i.e. removal of tumour through surgery) for colon cancer that has not spread; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; immunotherapy.
What else can we do, especially after modern treatment?
Adjust our diet by reversing unhealthy diet and lifestyle (high-fat and high-calorie meals, low dietary fibre intake).