Colorectal cancer: reduce the risk of occurrence by 40%

Colonoscopy screening every 10 years could reduce the 1.2 million cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed each year by 40%. This study was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In France, colorectal cancer kills more than 17,500 people.

Colonoscopy is a visual examination of the colon performed using a probe. In general, this examination is carried out under sedative. In the prevention of colorectal cancer, colonoscopy helps identify polyps and remove them immediately. This technique reduces the likelihood of developing colon cancer. Colonoscopy is therefore a method of diagnosis but also of therapy allowing the removal of polyps and other tumor tissues.

In this Harvard study, the researchers analyzed the data of two large studies involving nearly 90,000 participants, who had to complete a questionnaire every 2 years on their state of health and mention whether or not they had carried out a colonoscopy.

During this period, there were nearly two thousand cases of colorectal cancer and 474 deaths. Both sigmoidoscopy (a quicker but less effective test) and colonoscopy, which look at tumors in the lower colon and rectum, are associated with fewer deaths and fewer cases of colorectal cancer.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms that reveal colorectal cancer can take time to appear, so it is advisable to be very careful if you notice any of these signs on a recurring basis. You may feel them as if it were just a pain in your stomach, until it gets stronger.

Among the main symptoms are constipation or diarrhea, or even a chronic feeling of urge to go to the bathroom, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, muscle weakness or weight loss and heavy fluid consumption.

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A colposcopy every 10 years from the age of 50

Note that only colonoscopy is able to protect against tumors that develop in the upper part of the colon and rectum. The researchers recommend carrying out a colonoscopy every 10 years after the age of 50, except on medical advice (some people must carry out this test before the age of 50, for example in the event of cancer in the family).

The right steps to prevent colorectal cancer

Taking vitamin D, weight control, a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and regular exercise are also good ways to prevent colorectal cancer.


Any diagnosed polyp should be removed during the colonoscopy, if it is not too large, or if there are not many of them. In these cases, surgical excision of a portion of the colon may be necessary (we speak of polypectomy).

Microscopic examination of the structure and organization of the polyp is necessary: ​​excisional biopsy, simple biopsy or surgical specimen.

To treat cancer of the rectum or colon, several methods are applied depending on the patient’s state of health, his personal decision and the stage of the cancer. In the case of local cancers, it is systematic to resort to surgery to extract the tumors as soon as possible. Systemic or general treatments include options such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or the use of anti-cancer drugs.

Long-Term Colorectal-Cancer Incidence and Mortality after Lower Endoscopy. New England Medical Journal. Harvard School of Public Health

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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