Prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer
Early detection of colon cancer?
The most important examination methods for the early detection of colorectal cancer are the “blood-in-stool test” and the colonoscopy.
“Blood in the stool test”
This test looks for blood in the stool, which is not always visible to the naked eye. The blood can come from injured polyps or tumors in the colon.
The “blood-in-stool test” is available from the doctor and many pharmacies. The stool samples are analyzed and evaluated by experts, the result is discussed with the tested person.
If blood is present in the stool, it must be clarified, where the blood comes from. For this purpose, a colonoscopy is usually performed. Blood in the stool may also have causes other than cancer, such as hemorrhoids.
If no blood is found in the stool, no further examinations are usually necessary. The “blood-in-stool test” should be repeated every two years.
In a colonoscopy (colonoscopy), the inside of the intestine with a small camera is considered, which is introduced with an endoscope in the intestine. The camera transmits the images of the intestine directly onto a screen. With this method, intestinal polyps and tumors can be detected with high safety. Polyps can be removed directly during colonoscopy, which can prevent the polyps from causing cancer. For the examination the intestine must be freed from stool residues, so that the intestine inside can be well judged. For this, a strong laxative must be taken on the day before and on the day of the examination, and then drunk a lot. The examination is usually painless. The advancement of the endoscope can be perceived as unpleasant. Upon request, the patient is given a sedative during the examination. The risk of complications in a colonoscopy is small. If polyps are removed, bowel injuries or bleeding may occur in rare cases.
The basic insurance covers the costs of colorectal cancer screening in persons aged 50 to 69 years. Every two years a “blood-in-stool test” or a colonoscopy is paid every ten years. The franchise and the deductible are charged to the insured.
For systematic screening programs, examinations are exempted from the franchise. The insured persons only have to pay the deductible.
What does the Cancer League recommend?
The Cancer League recommends screening for colorectal cancer for women and men over the age of 50 years. Find out about the topic and discuss your individual situation with your doctor or pharmacist.
Unfortunately, there is no protection against colon cancer. However, a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of colorectal cancer:
- Keep your weight in the normal range.
- Move enough.
- Eat less red and processed meat, but enough food containing a lot of dietary fibers (eg whole grains, vegetables and fruits).
- Drink a little alcohol.
- Do not smoke.