In 60 years I have never had problems with my colon… why on earth should I have a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is useful for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer, a cancer with the highest occurrence in the Italian population (52,000 diagnosed in 2014) that can be prevented with correct lifestyles and with adherence to the respective screening program.
Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer of all. Among men it is in third place (14% of all new cancers), preceded by prostate and lung, among women in second, accounting for 13% of new cancers, preceded by breast cancer.
Colonoscopy is a scary test because it is invasive, but it is useful for the early diagnosis of this tumor. Screening for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer is addressed to men and women aged 50 to 69 and consists of "performing, every 2 years, a fecal occult blood test (collection of a small sample of stool and search for traces of blood not visible to the naked eye). Cases that are positive in the search for occult blood are investigated more thoroughly through subsequent colonoscopy. These tests allow both to identify early lesions that could degenerate over time into malignant tumors, as well as the diagnosis of early stage carcinomas and, therefore, susceptible to healing after therapy, with a consequent reduction in mortality.
The evolution of colorectal cancer is slow; for this reason, screening is an important tool for early diagnosis and for the organization of an adequate therapeutic strategy.
Carrying out periodic checks… is the right choice!
1. Ministry of Health. National Prevention Plan 2014-2018
2. Ministry of Health. Colorectal Cancer Screening
3. Italian Association of Cancer Registries (AIRTUM), Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM), Ministry of Health. The numbers of cancer in Italy 2014
4. Ministry of Health. Cancer prevention screening, life is more pink
5. Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM). Colorectal Cancer Guidelines
6. Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC). Colorectal cancer
7. EpiCentro (ISS). Cancer screening