Colon cancer is the # 1 European Cancer Chart. Across Europe every year, 279, 000 people are newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer. In Germany alone, there are 66, 000 annually. Of these, 29, 000 people die every year from the consequences of this disease. Here are some interesting and useful information on the subject of colon, colon cancer and prevention.
Did you know that...
... 70% of human defense cells sit in the gut? The intestine is the center of our immune system. A healthy intestinal flora therefore also provides effective protection against harmful microorganisms.
... Colorectal cancer is the only cancer that is almost 100% preventable or curable by early detection? This is because this cancer forms precursors (called polyps). Only those polyps that are not yet cancerous at an early stage can develop malignant adenomas. If these polyps are detected at an early stage (eg during a colonoscopy), they can be removed directly during the examination (without surgery) and the patient can be sure that he will not get colorectal cancer in the next few years.
... colon cancer is hereditary? Experts estimate that about 30% of all colon cancer cases are due to a family disposition or genetic causes. People in whose families colorectal cancer or its precursors (polyps) are known to family members should seek early diagnosis of colorectal cancer and early check-up at a young age. With a family disposition, the statutory health insurance pay the curative colonoscopy (colonoscopy) regardless of age.
... a colonoscopy is only necessary every 10 years? In the meantime, you can be sure you will not get this cancer. However, this only applies if the finding is negative in the previous reflection. For people who have been found and removed from polyps, as well as people with a hereditary risk, the investigation periods are shorter. These may vary between 2 to 6 years, depending on the diagnosis.
... the stool blood test should be done once a year? This test detects hidden (fecal) blood in the stool. Polyps, which can be precursors of colorectal cancer, bleed at intervals, ie not continuously. Therefore, any positive stool blood test must be confirmed by a colonoscopy to be sure that there are no polyps or other diseases. A repeated test, eg until a negative result is present, must never happen. This is explicitly stated in the medical guidelines.
... the statutory health insurance companies offer the Stuhlbluttest free of charge for insured persons over the age of 50 years and the preventive colonoscopy is reimbursed by the GKV from the age of 55? For people who have acute symptoms (blood in the stool, pain) or even insured with colon cancer cases in the family, this rule does not apply. They get both the test and the colonoscopy reimbursed regardless of age. The Stuhlbluttest is also available without prescription in the pharmacy for self-evaluation or submission to a laboratory for about 15 €.
... you can significantly reduce your colon cancer risk with a healthy lifestyle? Healthy nutrition and regular endurance sports have been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer; sometimes up to 40%. However, this only applies to people who do not belong to any of the above-mentioned risk groups. For these the regular intestinal check is essential.
... the virtual colonoscopy (eg computed tomography or magnetic resonance method) z. Can not replace conventional colonoscopy yet? If a polyp is detected on CT or MR, it can only be removed by conventional colonoscopy.
... in the intestinal wall about 100 million neurons are interwoven into a network? These are more cells than the entire spinal cord has. This explains why the gut reacts very sensitively to external and psychosomatic influences.
... the human digestive organ is about 8 meters long? This corresponds to the length of a full-blown giant snake.
Risk group for colorectal cancer
Colon cancer is a disease that can be inherited. The presence of a hereditary colorectal cancer disease means that direct relatives of the patients (parents, siblings, and children) may be at an increased risk for the disease in early adulthood. For most forms of hereditary colon cancer, the risk of disease can be significantly reduced by following appropriate precautionary rules.
Talk to your doctor about your personal colorectal cancer risk and take the chance that colorectal cancer prevention offers you! Colon cancer is the only cancer that can be almost completely prevented. The following questions will help you to find out if your family is at increased risk for colorectal cancer.
Important questions about colorectal cancer screening
It is important that you learn as accurately as possible who in the family has or had colon cancer or intestinal polyps and at what age these diseases have occurred.
- In my family is a direct relative (parents, siblings or children) suffering from colon cancer. (Yes No)
- In my family, a close relative (parents, siblings, or children) has colorectal cancer before the age of 45. (Yes No)
- In my family, a direct relation (parents, siblings or children) detected a bowel polyp (adenoma) before the age of 40. (yes / no)
- In my family, three or more relatives have colon cancer, stomach cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, renal pelvis or ureteral cancer. (Yes No)
If you answered no to all questions, there is no increased risk of colorectal cancer in your family. It is enough if all family members begin at the age of 50 years with the colorectal cancer screening. The health insurance companies pay an annual chair blood test from 50 years and a colonoscopy from 55 years.
If you answer yes to only question 1, your family may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer. All direct relatives (parents, siblings and children) of the person suffering from colorectal cancer should then seek advice from their family doctor or gastroenterologist as to whether additional precautionary measures are necessary.
If you answered yes to one or more of questions 2 through 4, your family might have a hereditary form of colon cancer. All direct relatives (parents, siblings and children) of the persons suffering from colorectal cancer then have a greatly increased risk of colorectal cancer and should seek advice from the family doctor, gastroenterologist or, if necessary, human geneticists about suitable precautionary measures.
Human genetic counseling
Some university clinics have set up special counseling centers for individuals suspected of having bowel cancer: Bochum, tel: 0234-299-3464; Bonn, Tel .: 0228-287-5489; Dresden, Tel .: 0351-796-5744; Düsseldorf, Tel .: 0211-81 13960; Heidelberg, Tel .: 06221-56-36493; Munich, Tel: 089-54308-511; Regensburg, phone: 0941-944-7010.