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SPMC highlights colorectal cancer prevention 

By Gio J. Tanudtanud


THE SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center campaigned for more awareness and regular checkups in celebration of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

During the Kapehan sa Dabaw in SM Ecoland, Dr. Robert B. Bandolon, consultant and section head of the SPMC Colon and Rectal Surgery, said they aim to educate people regarding colon cancer since it is ranked third in the most common disease in the world as of 2020.

Bandolon said the risk factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, foods high in animal fat, family history, and physical inactivity. Most tumors like polyps are commonly found in the large intestine rather than the small intestine.

Colorectal cancer begins as a small polyp that continues to grow over time into cancer if left untreated. Some polyps are malignant or cancerous and small polyps usually do not have any symptoms. Symptoms experienced by the patient are changes in bowel habits and blood in or on your stool. 

Bandolon advised that adults at the age of 45 to 50 years old need to be screened via a colonoscopy as recommended by the World Health Organization. He also advised that the use of alternative medicines or supplements is not advised as colon cancer can only be treated via surgery. 

“So, kana ang isa gina stress gyud nako. Again I have nothing against alternative medicine. Okay na siya, bai. In fact, para as an adjunct treatment why not? Kung ako may cancer ako, I’ll get the treatment and then I’ll use that, why not. But kung iclaim niyo na nawala inyong bukol because of kana nga tambal, mao tuy dakong problema,” he said.

The surgery will remove segments of the large intestine, including the tumor, and the patient will undergo chemotherapy for those in stage three and above. Patients may have a survivability rate of as high as 90% if small polyps are removed early.

Dr Nicole Bangayan, a fellow in training at the SPMC Colorectal Surgery, said a healthy diet of high-fiber food is crucial in preventing colon cancer since it promotes digestion and regular bowel health.

“In terms of kung unsay maka tabang, ang usual na ma dungan nato, which is tama, is mga high fiber. Mga high fiber na foods so mga prutas na fibrous, pineapple, mga buongon, ing ana,” she said.



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