It’s not strange to be afraid of a colonoscopy test for colon cancer screening. One needs a lot of preparation for this test, including a special diet, fasting, taking a laxative, or using an enema to empty your colon before undergoing a colonoscopy in Thailand.

Nevertheless, having a colonoscopy is necessary for detecting colon and rectum abnormalities, especially a tumor or malignant tissue inside the colon. Moreover, a tragic fact from the Thailand National Cancer Center states that the number of colon and rectum cancer patients is constantly rising from 10,624 patients in 2011 to 12,563 patients in 2014, meaning Thailand has the 5th highest cases of colorectal cancer in the world.

It is predictable that if there is no policy enforcement on colon cancer screening, the numbers of cancer patients will be doubled in 10 years and colon cancer will cause more than 3,000 deaths per year.

DR. NATCHADOL KITTIWARARAT, the oncologist, said that there are two significant factors, both uncontrollable and controllable, causing colon cancer.

Uncontrollable Factors:

  1. Age: after 45 years of age, a person can develop a significant possibility of having colon cancer
  2. Having a tumor or polyp in an intestine
  3. Becoming less active or having a sedentary lifestyle
  4. Having a medical history with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD
  5. A family history of tumor or intestine cancer

Controllable Factors:

  1. Unhealthy daily diet; grilled or processed foods such as bacon, sausage, dried meat or meatballs
  2. Overweight or obesity
  3. Less exercise or sedentary lifestyle
  4. Smoking
  5. Frequent alcohol consumption

Colon Cancer Screening

According to an American Cancer Society recommendation, people at average risk of colorectal cancer that have no personal history related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or certain types of polyps and no family history with colon cancer can start regular screening at age 45.

The colonoscopy procedure in Thailand can detect polyps and harvest the malignant sample to be studied by a special laboratory test. It can also remove certain potentially cancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.

The complexity of a colonoscopy might be the main factor why people avoid undergoing a colon cancer screening. There may be some food or water restrictions and laxatives to be taken to empty the colon. Though the colonoscopy is highly safe, it can cause some complications such as flatulence, and there can be bleeding in the case of tumor removal.

Blood Test for Colon Cancer

Medical technology has reached another step forward, and now we can screen colon cancer by a blood test which reduces the complex processes and unpleasant feelings before and during the colonoscopy.

The blood test for colon cancer screening can be performed immediately. The patient does not have to go through food and water restriction. The blood test is conducted in a specialized laboratory where cancerous cells contaminating the blood cell can be detected, and the result will be finalized in approximately 2 weeks.

Colon Cancer Blood Test Ensures Accurate Result

The blood test for colon cancer screening is well accepted nationwide. Research shows that this procedure has 95% accuracy compared to colonoscopy procedures in Thailand.

The state-of-the-art technology is still improving.  However, ignoring colon cancer screening is the primary factor causing an increased number of the patients with colon cancer. Most of the patients seek medical help only when the symptoms are already showing or in the late stages of the disease, which complicates the treatment and lowers the chances of curing the cancer.

So, people over 45 years of age generally are in a risky group and should have regular colon cancer screenings. Detecting the early stages of cancer can promote early treatment and provide one with the best chances of curing colon cancer.

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