Campaign on the importance of early detection of colon cancer (preventive order)
Cancer is the most common cause of death in Israel.
Every year, thousands of Israelis die because of the disease, and thousands more suffer from it.
Today, the world of science and medicine recognizes over 200 types of cancerous tumors, which differ in the organs in which they develop, in the type of cells that characterize them, in the rate of their development, in the physical symptoms they cause, and more.
Unlike most types of cancer, in which only early diagnosis and correct treatment significantly improve the patients' chances of survival, there are types of cancer that can actually be prevented - either through tests or through drug treatments.
Here are 3 types of cancer that are important to know - to prevent.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women in the world, and the second most common among women in developing countries.
In Israel, the incidence is low compared to many other countries, and stands at five cases per 100,000 women.
Despite the relatively low data, one of the main risk factors for this type of cancer is the papilloma virus, which is transmitted in a variety of ways.
Having unprotected sex (without a condom), having relationships from a young age and having relationships with many partners - increase the risk of exposure and infection.
The good news is that cervical tumors mostly develop from pre-malignant changes that allow early detection and treatment to prevent the development of cancer.
Unlike most cancers, whose mechanism of development is complex, not fully understood and combines hereditary, structural, environmental and other factors - the main cause of cervical cancer is known: it is a tumor caused by a virus.
The identification of the connection between infection with the human papilloma virus and the development of cervical tumors led to the development of vaccines against the virus, which help reduce the risk of developing pre-malignant and malignant tumors.
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The main preventive measure against cervical cancer.
Papilloma vaccine (Photo: ShutterStock)
The main preventive measure today against cervical cancer is the vaccine against the papilloma viruses that cause the disease.
Although it is not used as a substitute for tests for the early detection of cervical cancer, because it only works against some of the strains of the virus that cause cancer, it is used as a good protective measure against this type of cancer.
It is important to remember that although the vaccine protects against disease, the cervical screening routine must be continued, even after receiving the vaccine.
Melanoma skin cancer
Another type of cancer that can be prevented is melanoma - skin cancer.
This cancerous tumor usually begins in the skin or a mole, and it may appear in the skin all over the body, where in women the most common area is the skin of the calves, while in men the skin of the back is the area where cancerous tumors are most often detected.
The main risk factor for malignant melanoma is uncontrolled exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or exposure to artificial UV radiation through the use of tanning beds or lamps that emit ultraviolet radiation.
Therefore, one of the ways to prevent this type of cancer is to be sure to apply sunscreen, avoid tanning and exposure to the sun, and use accessories such as sunglasses, a hat and long clothing.
Paying extra attention to suspicious spots on the skin and a periodic visit to a dermatologist may prevent the development of this cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Israel.
It occurs at a similar rate in men and women, and in Israel, in the last year, about 3,200 new patients were diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer, of all ages.
This type is especially common over the age of 50, and the risk of getting it increases with age.
When the disease is detected at an early stage, the chances of recovery reach about 90 percent.
Therefore, there is great importance for early detection that increases the chances of recovery from colon cancer.
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"Unlike cervical cancer and melanoma, in which it is possible to follow tumors that develop and understand whether it is a cancerous tumor or not, in colon cancer there is no way to know except through a screening test," explains Dr. Shlomo Lebkowitz, chairman of the "Preventive Order" association that works to increase Awareness, prevention and coping with colon cancer.
"A third of the population over the age of 50 has polyps in the intestines, which may develop into a cancerous tumor. The first step in the prevention of colon cancer is a colonoscopy and this is also my recommendation - if you have reached the age of 50, ask your family doctor for a referral to a colonoscopy. This is an examination that is performed under a mask, in which A doctor identifies polyps that may develop into a tumor and removes them on the spot - thus preventing the development of the disease and preserving the quality of life," he added.