HOSPITAL QUIRONSALUD TORREVIEJA has launched a free campaign for early diagnosis of colon cancer to mark the International day of this pathology, which is celebrated on March 31.
The initiative consists of free examinations of faecal occult blood for residents of the Vega Baja region and patients of the hospital, aged between 50 and 74 years. The registration period will be from March 27-31, from 10am to 12pm, and the collection of samples will be from April 3-7 at the same times. Interested persons can request information by calling 966 925 770, emailing [email protected]or checking the website http://www.quironsalud.es/torrevieja/es.
The required kit for the testing can be collected from information points at the hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja entrance and the two Quironsalud clinics in Orihuela and Santa Pola.
The free program forms part Health Week Torrevieja Quirónsalud 2017, which the hospital will celebrate from April 3-7 on the occasion of World Health Day (April 7).
The objective of the campaign is to inform the population about the importance of prevention and early detection for a good prognosis of this disease. A common barrier is the lack of knowledge about the tests.
“Curing colon cancer is possible if detected early,” explained Dr. José Farré, head of the Oncology Surgery and General and Digestive Surgery Unit.
Colon cancer is the most common oncology pathology in Spain. However, when detected early, this tumor can be cured in 90 per cent of cases. Most colorectal cancers develop on precursor lesions (polyps) and need between 10 and 15 years of evolution. Through the various diagnostic tests, “not only can it be detected early when it has not yet produced symptoms, but it can also be prevented by locating and removing existing polyps before they become malignant,” Dr. Farré said.
The fecal occult blood test is a non-invasive test that consists of checking, in a quick and simple way the presence of non-visible blood in the stools in order to detect the existence of a colorectal lesion. To do this, the patient must deposit a small amount of faeces using the supplied kit and then deliver it at the collection points where the specialists will submit it for analysis.
Obtaining a negative test result indicates that a person is very unlikely to have colon cancer, although the reliability is not 100 per cent. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the test every two years.
If the result is positive, it is important to understand that “the presence of blood does not imply, on most occasions, that there is a colon cancer, but usually it is due to a benign lesion, such as a polyp.
“In such cases, the patient is advised to have a colonoscopy to rule out the presence of lesions in the colon,” concluded Dr. Farré.