Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer: Know Your Risks, Fight for Prevention

Author- Dr. Piyush 

Cancer is a global concern, and the United Arab Emirates is not immune. In 2019, colorectal cancer ranked among the top five cancers diagnosed in both genders, making it a crucial issue to address.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer affects the colon and rectum, which are parts of your large intestine responsible for digesting food and eliminating waste. It often starts as small, non-cancerous polyps that can develop into cancer over time.

Symptoms to Watch Out For:

Early detection is key in fighting colorectal cancer. While many people experience no symptoms initially, be aware of these potential signs:

  • Changes in bowel habits: Increased diarrhea or constipation, feeling incompletely emptied after a bowel movement.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stool.
  • Abdominal discomfort: Cramps, gas, pain.
  • Unexplained weight loss and fatigue.

Risk Factors:

Understanding your risk profile empowers you to take preventative measures. While age (over 50) is a major factor, other influences include:

  • Personal history: Previous colon cancer or polyps.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
  • Family history: Having relatives with colorectal cancer increases your risk.
  • Diet: A low-fiber, high-fat diet might be linked to higher risk.
  • Lifestyle: Lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption contribute.

Prevention is Your Shield:

Fortunately, you can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer through simple lifestyle changes:

  • Eat a balanced diet: Include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting red and processed meats.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay active: Aim for regular exercise most days of the week.
  • Limit alcohol: Drink alcohol moderately, if at all.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking significantly increases your risk.

Screening: Don't Wait Until It's Too Late:

The UAE Department of Health recommends starting colorectal cancer screening at 40. This involves a yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Don't delay your screening – early detection offers the best chance for successful treatment.

Colonoscopy: A Painless Ally:

A colonoscopy is a safe and painless procedure where a doctor uses a camera to examine your colon for polyps or abnormalities. While it might sound daunting, it takes only about 20-30 minutes with minimal discomfort. Don't let fear prevent this crucial preventive measure.


Colorectal cancer is a serious but preventable disease. Understanding your risks, adopting healthy habits, and getting regular screenings can significantly reduce your chances of developing it. Take charge of your health and join the fight against colorectal cancer!

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Together, we can raise awareness and conquer colorectal cancer!


Additional Resources:

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your primary physician for personalized advice.


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