MANILA -- Just like other lifestyle diseases, colorectal cancer can be prevented by early detection and eating the right kind of food.
Colorectal cancer, which affects the colon and the rectum, is the third most common kind of cancer. It is also the third leading cause of cancer deaths, next only to lung and breast cancer.
In an interview on radio DZMM on Thursday, Dr. Manuel Francisco Roxas, head of the colorectal clinic of The Medical City, said colorectal cancer is preventable.
"Ang colorectal cancer ang pinakacurable at preventable na cancer," he said.
Colorectal cancer can be detected through a colonoscopy, a process which looks for any abnormalities inside the colon. Once a polyp is discovered, it can be removed to prevent it from developing into cancer.
Just like in other kinds of cancer, early detection is important in colorectal cancer.
"Kapag polyp pa lang, wala kang nararamdaman," Roxas said, explaining that age is top risk factor for colorectal cancer. He advised people 50 years old and above to undergo a colonoscopy.
The disease also has a 15% chance of being inherited. Those with a strong family history of colorectal cancer should get tested at an earlier age.
"Kung may kamag-anak ka na may colorectal cancer, dapat 10 years before the age of diagnosis, kailangan magpacolonoscopy na," Roxas said.
Aside from colonoscopy, one can also undergo a fecal occult blood test once a year for detection of polyps.
Roxas advised those who notice blood in their stool to immediately consult a doctor.
"Yung iba kasi, akala nila almoranas lang. Pinapabayaan ng ilang taon, pagbalik nila, malala na," he added.
A high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as white meat, can help prevent the development of the disease.