Workplace stress: is it associated with colon cancer?
According to a new research carried out by the Formosa Cancer Foundation, office workers are at risk of developing colon cancer as a result of their bad diet to which they resort due to stress and lack of time that doesn’t allow them the luxury of healthy eating habits.
Stress has been identified as the cause of many forms of cancer, as it is the cause for certain harmful habits, such as smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diet.
In the case of colorectal cancer, although certain environmental risk factors have been identified, such as frequent consumption of red meat, processed meat and fat, it is impossible to predict who is at risk of developing cancer. However, certain small groups that represent less than 10% of the general population face a higher risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Given the fact that in Greece, more than 5,000 people develop colorectal cancer each year and more than 2,500 die from this condition, and, considering the high cost of treatment per patient, which in total (within the National Healthcare System and the private healthcare facilities) exceeds 70,000,000 Euros per year, the need for preventing colorectal cancer is more than imperative.
Therefore, all Greeks should understand that this condition can be prevented!
Moreover, in the past years, more and more younger people tend to develop polyps – a precancerous condition of the colon and rectum. This is why doctors are strongly suggesting their patients to undergo routine monitoring even at the age of 50. However, if first degree relatives (parents, siblings, and children) have been diagnosed with polyps or colorectal cancer, then their relatives are advised to begin routine monitoring at an even younger age, as they could be at high risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopy can, indeed, save your life!
All above were presented, among others, during the press conference held on the occasion of the 3rd Athens International Symposium on “Gastrointestinal Cancer: Prevention, Recognition and Management: A Primer for Physicians” to take place at the Athens Hilton Hotel on July 8th & 9th, 2016. The press conference was held in the presence of Konstantinos Triantafyllou – Associate Professor of Gastroenterology, Sotirios Georgopoulos – President of Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology and Ioannis Katsogridakis – Chairman of the Symposium Organising Committee. The symposium is an international event and the attending physicians come from 25 different countries from around the world.
The aim of the Symposium, this year held by the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology in the presence of 25 professors from 12 different countries and 4 continents, is to update internists and GPs on the recognition and prevention of gastrointestinal cancer.
More specifically, regarding prevention, speakers stressed out the outmost importance of colonoscopy, which is the only procedure that can identify and at the same time remove polyps before they grow into a malignancy. This is a procedure of high accuracy when performed by experienced and appropriately trained gastroenterologists. Among its advantages is the possibility of screening and biopsy-sampling from the entire surface of the colon. This particular examination also allows simultaneous diagnosis and treatment, and is therefore considered a cutting-edge procedure for preventing colorectal cancer.
Based on current guidelines, sigmoidoscopy combined with anal fecal immunochemical test (FIT) test or even the FIT test alone when performed each year, can also contribute towards effective routine monitoring.
However, sigmoidoscopy, performed without anaesthesia in minimum time, only allows screening of the lower part of the colon and in case of identified lesions, a full screening of the colon with colonoscopy is advised. In combination with the FIT test, the screening process may minimize the possibility of failure in identifying precancerous lesions in the colon. However, in the event of a positive result in any of these two tests, the patient must undergo a colonoscopy.
To sum up, the most effective preventive test is the one to which the patient is actually submitted. Thankfully, there are several tests alternatives to colonoscopy that can help us attain our ultimate goal: seeing no one die from colorectal cancer.
Further to routine monitoring that is imperative for all men and women aged 50-75 (or even up to 85 years of age, if doctor suggests so) colorectal cancer prevention may also include changes in certain habits, according to the speakers. Changing our diet by adding fruit, vegetables, dietary fibres and yogurt and exercising more often can help reduce the possibilities of developing colorectal cancer. Maintaining a normal body weight and quitting smoking have also been proven to contribute against cancer.
About the Symposium
From 09:00 am on Saturday 9 July, at Athens Hilton “Santorini” Hall, physicians shall have the chance to participate in a full programme of lectures offered by experienced professors (with simultaneous interpreting into Greek) that will guide them towards the correct decisions for their patients. Gastroenterologists participating in the symposium shall be offered a wide range of scientific events including lectures, early morning sessions with the experts, hands-on courses, live procedures broadcasted from two hospitals: “Attikon” University Hospital and “Metropolitan” Hospital. This is a unique opportunity for Greek doctors to meet with leading doctors from Europe and the USA.
“Plain Registration” (free) is available for doctors on the symposium website. “Full Registration” (standard) includes “Lunch” and may be provided through the sponsors, by calling at the TRIAINA SA PCO office at 210-7499331 & 210-7499340 (Contact person: Mrs. Eftyxia Pouli).
More information available at www.athens-symposium2016.com.
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