The 2nd most common cancer in HK: Colorectal cancer
Don’t let the pandemic delay check-ups
Prevention is the key to Early Recovery
Regular Colonoscopies for Detection
June 16, 2022 (Hong Kong) – As the second most common cancer in Hong Kong, colorectal cancer in the city saw 5,556 cases in 2019^. For men aged 45 to 64, it is the most common cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of a few cancers that could be prevented as it develops from intestinal polyps, meaning early detection via colonoscopies can ensure timely removal and recovery. With proper treatment at an early stage, the five-year survival rate could reach as high as 90%. When treatment is delayed to stage 4, however, such survival rate drops to 9.3%*. Hong Kong Cancer Fund urges those with a family history of colorectal cancer, have polyps in their intestines and those aged 50 years old or above to discuss with your doctor to schedule regular colonoscopies to ensure prevention and early detection.
Hong Kong Cancer Fund urges not to let the pandemic delay check ups
The early onset of colorectal cancer can be asymptomatic and can only be detected with regular checkups. The COVID-19 pandemic in the past 2 years has reduced our desire to leave our homes and visit high-risk places like the hospital, thereby slumping people going for colonoscopies. As the fifth wave of the pandemic eases, Hong Kong Cancer Fund urges those with a family history of colorectal cancer, have polyps in their intestines and those aged 50 years old or above to resume their regular colonoscopies to ensure early detection and removal. Colonoscopies and the Faecal Occult Blood Test are the main means to examine the large intestine. You are advised to discuss with your doctor about suitable options.
These following symptoms may suggest issues in your large intestines. You should consult a doctor immediately:
● Blood or mucus in your stools
● Changes in bowel movements lasting for more than two weeks (alternating between diarrhoea and constipation, stool becoming very narrow, a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement)
● Constant abdominal discomfort (colicky pain, fullness or cramps)
● Unexplained weight loss
Debunking Myths of the Colorectal Cancer Patient’s Diet
Aside from regular colonoscopies, diets also play a crucial role in colorectal cancer prevention. Studies show that diets high in fat, low in fiber and containing charred and processed foods have a higher chance of developing colorectal cancer. Ms. Fion Chow, Registered Dietitian at Hong Kong Cancer Fund says that the popular ketogenic diet – which prescribes high-fat foods and minimal fruits – goes against the suggested diets for colorectal cancer prevention. Fion advises those with a family history of colorectal cancer or cancer patients to consult their physicians or nutritionists. Fion also mentions “superfoods” such as whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, tomatoes, low-fat cheese, tofu, soy products and flaxseeds, which are also beneficial to our health. Finally, she states that there isn’t a food that is the key to preventing cancer; but a balanced diet and healthy habits can lower the risk. However, she also notes that high-fiber diets are not suitable for everyone. , Colorectal cancer patients should stay away from fiber-intense diets as fibre cannot be digested by the human body. If the intestines are blocked by tumours, the fibres may not be able to pass through, resulting in blockage.
Hong Kong Cancer Fund offers free services and support to cancer survivors & their family and friends
Hong Kong Cancer Fund has long raised awareness for colorectal cancer with regular events, including educational videos featuring Dr. Yuen Siu Tsan – Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s Medical Advisor, Deputy Medical Superintendent of St. Paul’s Hospital. These videos could be found on Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s official page and social media pages including Facebook, Instragram and Youtube.
The Hong Kong Cancer Fund offers free services and support to cancer survivors and their family and friends, no one should face cancer alone. For any questions about cancer support, please dial: 3656 0800.
About Hong Kong Cancer Fund:
As Hong Kong’s largest cancer support organisation, the Hong Kong Cancer Fund (Cancer Fund) provides free information and professional support services to anyone living with or affected by cancer. The Cancer Fund aims to reduce the impact of cancer, increase cancer awareness and ensure that no one faces cancer alone. Founded in 1987, our work encompasses professional, psychological and social care services, home care, peer support, funding of hospital equipment and local cancer research, public education, and much more, filling the gaps in cancer care. All of our professional services are all FREE. Receiving no money from the government or the Community Chest, we rely solely on public generosity to sustain our ongoing cancer support services. For more information, please visit www.cancer-fund.org.
^ The Hong Kong Cancer Registry 2021 (2019 Data)
* Stage-specific Survival of Breast and Colorectal Cancer in Hong Kong (Colorectal Cancer Diagnosed in 2010-2017)
Tel: (852) 3656 0800