There is a 10 percent annual increase in colon and rectum cancer cases in the Kingdom as a result of obesity and smoking, Saudi oncologists have warned, urging authorities to launch nationwide awareness campaigns to reduce the rate of such diseases in society.
“Most colon and rectal cancer cases found among the Saudis were in the last stages. If we had discovered the disease in the early stages the chances of recovery would have been much higher,” said Dr. Nasser Al-Sanie, president of the Saudi Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery.
He said colon cancer would require complicated surgery to remove it but there is a possibility of the disease spreading to other parts within seven to 10 years. “We can prevent this disease through early diagnosis and conducting periodic endoscopy of colon and rectum.”
Dr. Yassir Bahadur, an oncologist at King Abdulaziz University’s Medical College, said colon cancer is the second largest type of cancer found in the Kingdom after breast cancer and is number one among men. Among the 12,000 new cancer cases reported in the Kingdom annually 8.5 percent are colon cancer and 12 percent breast cancer. “Colon cancer is associated with a person’s lifestyle,” he told Arab News.
Dr. Khaled Al-Rasini of King Khaled National Guard Hospital, said his hospital receives about 300 colon cancer cases annually. He urged those who have crossed 50 to conduct endoscopy for colon and rectum as a precautionary measure.