A recent study published by the Emirates Oncology Society showed that genetic causes play a role in the infection of young people with colorectal cancer, but attributed the largest part of the reasons to malnutrition, weight gain, smoking and excessive use of antibiotics.
The President of the Society, Professor of Oncology at the University of Sharjah, Hamid bin Harmal Al Shamsi, confirmed to “Emirates Today” that the phenomenon of people under the age of 50 suffering from colorectal cancer has increased during the past two decades, adding that the majority of cases of the disease are concentrated among women and men in the 50 and 60 years.
Al-Shamsi, one of those in charge of implementing the study, stated that the main reasons for the increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer among young people locally and globally are concentrated in malnutrition, pointing to an increase in meat, fats and fast food, and a reduction in vegetables and fruits, as “this leads to an increase in the mass of body and weight, which in turn leads to more than 13 types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.”
He added that the reasons also include following an unhealthy lifestyle, lack of movement and sports, as studies link lack of exercise and the body’s entry into continuous cases of inflammation, especially in the presence of fat and obesity, which leads to a fertile environment for the onset of cancer cells.
Al Shamsi pointed out that the study revealed that the excessive use of antibiotics is one of the causes of this disease, as it is responsible for changing the internal environment of the colon and rectum, which leads to chronic infections and the activation of cancer cells in this sensitive area.
Al Shamsi stressed the importance of early screening for the disease, as it was previously approved at the age of 50, but recent recommendations advised that it be done at the age of 45, noting that the genetic causes of colorectal cancer for young people do not exceed 10 to 15% of the causes of the disease.
He pointed out that the UAE is a global leader in reducing the age of early screening for colorectal cancer to 40 years.
The country also provides early screening for colorectal cancer at the age of 40 by laparoscopy, which is preferable, every three to five years for men and women, regardless of family history. Another option is to test the blood in the stool every one or two years for people who do not wish to have an endoscopy.
Professor Al Shamsi pointed to another study he published in 2020, which relied on the official data published by the UAE Ministry of Health from the National Cancer Registry. After analyzing this data, it became clear that colorectal cancer is the first in men in the country, and the second after breast cancer. The data showed that about 40% of colorectal cancer patients in the UAE are under 50, and about 20% are under forty, and this explains the recommendations of the competent authorities to start colorectal examination at the age of 40. Al Shamsi explained that colorectal cancer is one of the most common tumors. Ease of diagnosis and treatment (when diagnosed early).
The Dubai Health Authority has identified four procedures that must be adhered to, to prevent colorectal cancer, which are to start a periodic examination every 10 years starting from 45 years, maintaining a healthy weight, physical activity, healthy food while avoiding eating red and processed meat, and avoiding smoking. .
The most prominent symptoms of the disease are “blood in the stool, anemia, pain in the abdomen, a change in defecation habits, weight loss, fatigue.”
The commission stated that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death for cancer deaths in women and men, and it begins in the form of tissue growths capable of turning into cancer in the colon.
She stated that through examination, cancerous polyps can be detected and removed before they turn cancerous, stressing that all polyps do not turn cancerous, while early detection of this disease makes treatment and recovery better and more effective.
• Emirates Oncology: Obesity is one of the causes of colorectal cancer among young people.
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