By Jessica Onyegbula
Abuja – Dr Ehiatamah Ehinomem, an Oncologist with National Hospital Abuja (NHA) on Thursday warned that smoking increases the risk of colon cancer by 2.5 per cent.
He gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The expert explained that the colon was part of the digestive system known as the gastro intestinal tramp.
He added that the colon was also another term for the large intestine and the lowest part of the digestive system.
He said that “when there is a cancerous growth or tumour on the colon, it leads to colon cancer and is characterised by out of control cell growth.”
The oncologist said colon cancer was usually prominent in people who were 50 years and above, adding, however, that there were
few cases in people less than 30 years.
He cautioned that if a member of the family had cancer, there were higher chances of someone getting the disease in the family.
He said that animal fat diet consumption, malnutrition such as micro nutrient deficiency, vitamin D and E, increase the risk of developing cancer.
He added that inflammation and obesity were other factors that could predispose people to colon cancer.
Ehinomem said that some of the symptoms of colon cancer had to do with change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of stool.
He explained that rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps, gas or pain were also symptoms of colon cancer.
However, the expert said, colon cancer could be managed through radiotherapy, surgery or chemotherapy, depending on the level of the disease.
He noted that at individual level, the most important thing was that when the diagnosis was made, the best treatment was not by herbal medicine.
The oncologist said that early diagnosis and adherent to treatment was key to saving patients’ life.
He further said that to prevent colon cancer, it was important to avoid smoking, reduce intake of alcohol and animal fat.
He encouraged patients susceptible to colon cancer to include vegetables, fruits, among others, in their diet.
Ehinomem urged the Federal Government to enlighten people on cancer as done with HIV/AIDS. (NAN)