Colon Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer or cancer of the large intestine is classified 2nd cancer in women and 3rd cancer in men.

Colon Cancer screening

Colon cancer screening also known as colorectal cancer or large bowel cancer, is for men and women aged between 50 and 74 years.

Although colorectal cancer is exceptional before age 40, its frequency increases markedly in the fifties.

In Belgium, colorectal cancer is the cause of more than 3,000 deaths each year. Almost 10 deaths a day! However, this cancer can be cured if it is detected and treated at the beginning of its development, before the onset of symptoms. If colorectal cancer is detected early, the chances of survival at 5 years are 90%! Through screening, it is possible to detect this cancer very early.

What is colon cancer ?

Cancer of the colon is a cancer that develops in colon or rectum cells, which is localized in 70% of cases in the colon and 30% in the rectum. It develops from a cell that transforms and multiplies as a result of a mutation. In general, this cancer develops from polyps, by growing, they can turn into cancer, and cause bleeding invisible to the naked eye.

The Detection and removal of polyps cocurs during endoscopic examinations : colonoscopy or rectoscopy.

What are the symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

When it is still very small, colorectal cancer usually goes unnoticed, but it is possible that it still does not cause any signs or symptoms. Here is a non-exhaustive list of these symptoms (Some of these symptoms may be due to other medical problems):

  • Constipation or diarrhea that lasts for weeks
  • Blood in stool
  • Stools narrower than usual
  • False desire to go to the toilet

When to do a colon screening?

It is recommended to screen for colon cancer from the age of 50, however if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or symptoms that may indicate the presence of cancer then it is safer to screen yourself even if you are not in your fifties.