Colon Cancer is a Preventable Disease Yet it Remains One of the Most Common Forms of Cancer in the UAE
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. March 13 2019: Even though cases of colon cancer are on the decline due to increased community awareness and screening using sophisticated technologies, it is still the most common cancer among men in the UAE.
Physicians in the UAE recommend that people should start regularly screening for colon cancer at the age of 40. This advice is for those who do not have a family history of colon cancer, and who have no symptoms. Screening should commence 10 years earlier if there is a family history of the disease, and regular screenings are important because symptoms of colon cancer do not usually appear until the disease has reached an advanced stage.
Dr. Matthew Kroh, Chair of the Digestive Diseases Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, stressed: “Colon cancer awareness is an important priority at the Institute. The disease can be effectively prevented with regular screening and prompt medical intervention. Both men and women should take this advice seriously once they reach the age of 40. In addition, we should all eat a well-balanced diet and be physically active to help lower the risk of colon cancer.”
Screening is usually covered by health insurance and is an important part of the normal annual check-up. It typically entails a colonoscopy to look for polyps which are small, slow developing growths in the lining of the large bowel. Not all polyps turn into cancer but removing a polyp before it becomes large can prevent potential progression to cancer.
Technological advances mean that a colonoscope, a long, thin, flexible instrument with a light and camera, can be inserted into the body so that the physician can view the colon on a screen and clearly observe any abnormalities. The procedure, which takes about half an hour, is carried out in the outpatient clinic and is painless. If the physician identifies a polyp, that same instrument can immediately remove the growth, eliminating the need for an additional procedure.
On the subject of the procedure, Dr. Kroh emphasized: “We have male and female doctors who carry out these examinations every day. Nobody should feel embarrassed or nervous because the technological developments over the years mean that this procedure is simple, painless, efficient, and effective in preventing colon cancer.”
The latest data published by the Department of Health & Prevention show that colorectal cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the UAE. It is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and across genders.