Medical Essay on Colorectal Cancer

Published: 2021-07-14 17:51:54
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Wesleyan University
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One of the principal causes of morbidity as well as mortality in the whole world is colorectal cancer. It is more than one percent of all cases of cancer. Also, it is the third common type of cancer in the world, and regarding causing of death, it is at number four. The disease attacks men and women almost in equal measures, and millions of cases have so far been recorded. Countries that are leading with the highest number of incidences include New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe. The countries whereby the risk of getting the disease is lowest include some African countries, South America and India. In countries such as the United States, colorectal cancer is the third commonest form of cancer among the population (Parkin et al, 2002). The incidence rates in male and female are similar, but there is predominance in the male population. In the whole world, the disease represents 9.4% of the incidents in men while in women it is 10.1%. However, there is no uniformity in colorectal cancer in the whole world. Regarding the distribution worldwide, there is a difference geographically. The disease is primarily developed with a culture that is from western countries accounting more than sixty-three percent of all cases. There is a variation regarding the rate of incidence between the countries that have the highest rates and those that have lowest rates. The range is between over forty per a hundred thousand people in countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Europe while in African countries and parts of Asia the rate is five per a hundred thousand people. However, there may be bias in this reporting whereby developing countries under-report the incidences.


There are various incidence rates of colorectal cancer in different populations of the world whereby the rates keep on changing at particular times (Parkin et al, 2002). For example, in North and West Europe there may be stabilized cases of colorectal cancer and in the United States, the incidences are declining with time. However, there are some countries whereby the rates are increasing such as countries that have high-income earners in their economy have transformed from a low-income economy in recent times. An example of such countries include Singapore, Japan as well as some Eastern Europe countries whereby incidences of colorectal cancer have increased rapidly to the point of doubling in these countries. In the US there has been a reduction in male and female colorectal cancer incidences in the 1990s and a period where it stabilized (Boyle & Ferlay, 2005). Starting 1998 to 2005 there had been a decrease in rates in both men and women. The reduction in cancer incidences has been contributed to screening programs that have been able to detect cancer. It is notable there has been a decrease in the rates of occurrences in the recent times, the burden that is caused by the disease still high in many parts of the world. In some decades the frequencies of white men acquiring the disease were high compared to that of black men, and there was equality between the white and black women.

Importance of Increasing Awareness

It should be known that colorectal cancer affects the rectum and is an uncomfortable disease. Many people may not be willing to discuss the disease, but it is essential that it is dealt with so that it can be detected early. If it is detected, it can be successfully treated, and the rate of incidences can be reduced over time (Boyle & Ferlay, 2005). The disease can be dangerous and frightening but if there is awareness people will be able to understand the disease and seek treatment whereby they may end up getting well. The population should be made to know that the disease can be treated if it is treated in early stages. If all those that are over the age of fifty years are screened, there is the possibility of reducing the deaths that are experienced with over 60 percent (Parkin et al, 2002). There are also some types of screening whereby there is the possibility of preventing the disease by removal of polyps before they can be cancerous. Many people are not aware of cancer screening which can be a dangerous situation because the lack of knowledge can sabotage the fight against colorectal cancer. As oncologist has noted, this is a disease that can be prevented, and that is why there is the need for screening. If the screening is done early, then the radiation and chemotherapy treatment can begin.

There should also be organizations to help in the creation of awareness campaigns that are prominent in urging people to be screened and make the topic comfortable when discussing which can enable the rate of cancer deaths to be avoided. Organizations for creating awareness should focus on campaigns that create awareness and should target places such as waiting rooms in hospitals, gyms, pubs, large institutions with employees so that they can reach a broad audience (Boyle & Ferlay, 2005). They should come up with slogans that are eye-catching to ensure that they can catch the eyes of their audience who are the public. The campaign should go throughout the year, and there should be touring to different places to ensure a lot of people are reached as much as possible so that they can have the knowledge that is required.

Getting People to have Screening

If people live healthy lifestyles, there are high chances that they reduce the risk of suffering from colorectal cancer. However, even if one is living a healthy way of life, there is a need for colorectal cancer screening. Carrying out tests using the recommended methods is important because it helps in discovering cancer early at a time when it can be treated quickly and even the possibility of preventing it (Boyle & Ferlay, 2005). That is why agencies such as the American Cancer Society as well as Anthem Foundation work hand in hand to ensure that men and women are encouraged so that they can be screened if they have attained the age of 50 years. With the efforts of such agencies, they can help reduce the barriers that lead people not to be screened. Many people have been educated with the support of such agencies, and they have come up with programs that are aimed at empowering people and provide them with services of cancer screening.

The cases of colorectal cancer have been decreasing steadily because of such awareness, but the deaths caused by the disease remain high and still affects both men and women. There are still cases of the colorectal cancer being reported, and deaths are still rampant which means there is still hard work remaining regarding sensitization of people to be screened. People should be made aware that screening of colorectal cancer is an opportunity that they cannot avoid missing because it is through screening that colorectal cancer can be discovered in its early stages and diagnosed when it can be treated. There is a population who are not willing to be screened because they do not understand the importance of screening hence the reason for sensitization (Boyle & Ferlay, 2005). During the screening test, the doctors are keen to take a look at the colon with the aid of a camera. The small camera is inserted through the anus whereby it is pushed to the lower side of the colon and images are obtained on the screen. The doctor then looks inside the rectum and the colon so that he/she can detect if there is an abnormality and remove it if it is detected. With the use of sigmoidoscope, the doctor can see the full rectum because the camera is as small as sixty centimeters. Before you can undergo the procedure, ensure that the physician is aware of any form of medication that you have been using. It is because there could be the need to change the way you take medicine. Colorectal cancer is a deadly disease, but if it is detected in its early stages, it can be treated.


Boyle P, Langman J S. ABC of colorectal cancer: Epidemiology.

Boyle P, Ferlay J. Mortality and survival in breast and colorectal cancer. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2005;2

Parkin D, Bray F, Ferlay J. Global cancer statistics, 2002. CA Cancer J Clin. 2006;55:74108.

World Health Organization Cancer Incidence in Five Continents. Lyon: The World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2002.

World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: American Institute for Cancer Research; 2007.

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