TORREVIEJA’S Quirónsalud Hospital has launched a free campaign for the early diagnosis of colon cancer to tie in with the World Colon Cancer Awareness Day celebrated on March 31.
The initiative will consist of checking for hidden blood in bowel movements and will be available to the general public in the Vega Baja area (national and foreign) as well as patients already admitted to the hospital.
The tests will be carried out on people aged between 50 and 74, who have not shown any symptoms such as blood showing up in faeces, abdominal pain, change in intestinal rhythm, etc.).
Testing kits will be handed out from April 1 – 5 between the hours of 10am and 2pm.
Samples will subsequently be collected from April 8 – 12 between the same hours.
If anyone requires further information, they can call 966 909 506 or send an email to: [email protected].
Specific kits are being used to carry out the tests and must be collected from the information points located at the entrance of the Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital.
The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness among the population about the importance of prevention and early detection for a good prognosis of this disease. By carrying out one of these simple tests, it is possible to detect the presence of this type of cancer.
The general public perception is that there is a low risk of suffering from colon cancer despite it being the second most important type of cancer for both men and woman after prostate and breast cancer.
“Curing colon cancer is possible if detected early,” explains Dr Pedro Bretcha, Head of the Oncological Surgery Unit and General and Digestive Surgery at the hospital.
Ninety per cent of cases can be cured
Colon cancer is the most common oncological pathology in Spain. With early detection, however, this tumour can be cured in 90 per cent of cases. Most colorectal carcinomas develop on precursor lesions (polyps) and require 10 to 15 years of progression.
“Not only can the disease be detected early if there are no symptoms, it can also be prevented by localizing and removing existing polyps before they become malignant,” Dr Bretcha points out.
The hidden blood fecal test is a non-invasive test that consists of checking, in a quick and simple way, the presence of blood that is not visible in the stool in order to detect the existence of a colorectal lesion.
To do this, the patient must deposit a small amount of faeces in the kit that will be given for this purpose and then deliver it to the collection points where the specialists will submit it to analysis. Obtaining a negative test result “indicates that it is very unlikely that the person has colon cancer, although reliability is not 100 per cent. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the test every two years and consult the doctor in case any discomfort is felt,” warns the specialist.
If the result is positive, it is necessary to know that “the presence of blood does not imply, in most cases, that there is colon cancer, but usually is due to a lesion of a benign nature, such as a polyp. In this case, a colonoscopy would be performed to rule out the presence of lesions in the colon,” concludes Dr Bretcha.