Colorectal cancer screening

Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is an excellent early detection technique. However, the choice to have screening might be influenced by several circumstances. This research aimed to look at current Hong Kong colorectal cancer screening and identify the elements that affect it, using Andersen’s Behavioural Model as a guide.

Routine screening often prevents colorectal cancer, which detects polyps before they become malignant. Discuss with your doctor when you should begin screening, depending on your age and family history of the illness. People at average risk should start screening at the age of 45.

Because colorectal cancer typically does not present symptoms until it is advanced, it is essential that individuals consult with their doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of each screening test, as well as how often each test should be performed. People with any of the following risk factors for colorectal cancer should begin colorectal cancer screening sooner and undergo screening more often, according to the recommendations below:

  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, such as cancer or polyps in a first-degree relative under the age of 60 or cancer or polyps in two first-degree relatives of any age. 
  • Personal experience with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Any hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Lynch syndrome, or other syndromes, in the family.

The colorectal cancer screening tests are detailed below.

Colonoscopy

While the patient is sedated, a colonoscopy enables the doctor to examine the whole rectum and colon. A colonoscope is a flexible, illuminated tube put into the rectum and the entire colon to look for polyps or cancer. A doctor may extract polyps or other tissue for evaluation during this operation (see “Biopsy” in the Diagnosis section). Polyp eradication may also help to avoid colorectal cancer.

Colonography using computed tomography

CT colonography, often virtual colonoscopy, is a screening procedure investigated in several facilities. A trained radiologist must interpret it to get the most outstanding results. A radiologist is a physician who specialises in acquiring and analysing medical images. CT colonography may be an option for those who cannot undergo a regular colonoscopy owing to the danger of anaesthesia or if a person has an obstruction in the colon that hinders a thorough inspection.

Sigmoidoscopy

A sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a flexible, lighted tube into the rectum and lower intestine to look for polyps, cancer, and other abnormalities. A doctor might remove polyps or other tissue for subsequent inspection during this treatment. This test does not allow the clinician to examine the top section of the colon, including the ascending and transverse colon. This screening test allows for the removal of polyps, which may also help prevent colorectal cancer; however, if polyps or cancer are identified, a colonoscopy is suggested to inspect the whole colon.

DNA analysis of faeces

This test looks for cancer by analysing the DNA from a person’s faeces sample. It utilises changes in DNA that occur in polyps and tumours to determine if a colonoscopy is necessary.

Conclusion

Colon cancer is prevalent cancer that kills a large number of people. It is theoretically avoidable with screening and highly treatable with surgery alone when identified early. Modern chemotherapy is improving survival for people in later stages.

Leave a comment