Expert Calls For Increased Awareness On Colon Cancer

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An Ibadan radiologist, Dr Samuel Awotunde, on Friday
called for increased enlightenment on colon cancer,
which he described as the third most common cancer in
men, after prostate and liver cancer.

Awotunde made the call while speaking with the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

He said that his call was necessitated by the fact that
many Nigerians were not aware of the disease.

Awotunde said that while colon cancer was preventable,
it usually did not have obvious symptoms in the early
stages.

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“Up to 80 per cent of those diagnosed of colon cancer die
from it; this is however unfortunate because colon
cancer is one of the preventable cancers.

“Colon cancer develops slowly over a period of time
without showing symptoms,” he said.

According to him, the disease usually develops as a
small non-cancerous growth in the inner lining of the
colon or rectum.

The radiologist said that symptoms might include
change in bowel habit such as diarrhoea, constipation,
or diarrhoea alternating with constipation that lasts for
more than a few days.

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“Some of the symptoms are a feeling that you need to
pass stool that is not relieved by doing so, rectal
bleeding and blood in the stool, weakness and
unintended weight loss,” he said.

Awotunde advised that anyone above 40 years should
go for regular cancer screening, adding that screening
was very important for cancer prevention.

“Through regular screening, most polyps can be found
and removed before they become cancer; Screening can
also result in finding colon cancer early, when it is
highly curable.

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“Screening tests for colon cancer includes stool test,
endoscopy and colonoscopy; the screening can be done
once every 10 years,” he said.

He said that healthy lifestyle choices were highly
important to prevent most diseases, including colon
cancer.

He advised that people should eat food rich in fiber like
fruits, wheat, beans and vegetables, to aid the
digestive system and prevent colon cancer.

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