Colon cancer became the second most frequent in Costa Rica, only preceded by prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. In 2020, 1,257 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in the country, 610 in men and 647 in women; This is according to data from the International Center for Research on Cancer of the United Nations World Health Organization (UNWHO).
Preventive health measures
Faced with this scenario, doctors call on the population for preventive health and stress the importance of colonoscopy, an endoscopic procedure that allows early detection of some premalignant lesions. “It is cancer that has the advantage that it can be detected when there is a precancerous lesion. Through colonoscopy, which is the most complete study, we can find polyps, one of which is adenomas, premalignant lesions that, over time, can become cancer. If we find these lesions in the same colonoscopy, we remove them and thus prevent the development of this cancer”, explained Ana Lorena Madrigal, a gastroenterology specialist.
Among the risk factors are diets with high fat content, as well as excessive consumption of processed foods or sausages. So are smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of this type of cancer or colorectal polyps.