Digestive cancers are extremely dangerous, warn gastroenterologists. According to statistics, malignant diseases of the digestive system are responsible for most deaths from cancer. And the lifestyle is decisive in triggering these serious illnesses.
“Unbalanced eating can be a risk factor for all types of gastric cancer and here I refer to excessive consumption of saturated fats, super-processed products, alcohol, and insufficient fiber intake. In addition, extremely dangerous for our digestive system is the excess of red meat. “,says gastroenterologist Cem Aygün, a specialist.
In the top of digestive cancers diagnosed by doctors are colon cancer, pancreas, stomach and esophagus cancer. Besides the low-fat diet in vegetables and fruits, smoking is responsible for the increased risk of digestive cancer.
Helicobacter Pylori can live in the stomach of a child from childhood up to adulthood
As for stomach cancers, they also occur due to an extremely prevalent infection among the population.
“It is known that Helicobacter Pylori increases the risk of stomach cancer. The presence of this microorganism indicates a first risk of stomach cancer and the atrophy and metaplasia associated with this infection increase the risk of malignancy. Although we know that the cells of our immune system recognize and attack the bacteria, they cannot annihilate it. Helicobacter Pylori can live in the stomach of a person from childhood to adulthood, and the inflammation that perpetuates for years is an important risk factor for many cancers that affect our digestive system, “the gastroenterologist adds.
Helicobacter Pylori is transmitted under conditions of poor hygiene, contaminated food, water, and direct contact with an infected person. Treatment with antibiotics can reduce the risk of gastric cancer by 40 percent. As for the symptoms of malignancies, they vary according to the location of the disease. Thus, the presence of cancer in the digestive system can be signaled by pain, anemia, rapid weight loss, intestinal bleeding, retrosternal pain, fluid build-up in the abdomen, and skin coloration in yellow. But many of these diseases are silent in the early stages of the illness, so specialists recommend regular investigations.
“At present, we know that one-third of gastrointestinal cancers can be prevented. How can we do that? The most important thing we can do is to implement clinical screening programs on a large scale. For example, colorectal cancer is recommended for annual blood tests, but also for colonoscopy. There are also clinical programs for other types of digestive cancers, but these differ from one type of patient to another. Thus, pancreatic cancers can occur in people who have cases of such malignancy in the family. There are also screening programs for liver cancer, intended for people with hepatitis B and C viruses, and those with family malignant liver diseases, “the ACIBADEM expert advises.
Respecting the regular investigation program increases the chances of detecting any malignant disease at an early stage. Thus, doctors can apply many of the modern therapies with maximum long-term healing chances.
“We currently have modern treatment options for gastric cancers. One of these is therapeutic resection, a method that can be applied either by open surgery or by endoscopy. During surgery, we need to perform complete tumor resection so that no malignant tissue remains. We have successfully treated many patients and we all tell them that it is important to get to us as soon as possible in the early stages of the disease. For example, in stage 1 cancer patients, the success rate of therapy is over 90 percent.” concludes the expert.
Of great use in preventing cancers of the digestive system is a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, reducing the consumption of saturated fats and processed meat, salt and alcohol. Quitting smoking, along with maintaining optimal weight and sports, are further strengths in controlling the risk of cancer in the digestive tract.