Colon cancer

Colon cancer (colorectal carcinoma) is a malignant tumour of the colon or rectum. It usually develops from benign intestinal polyps. There are chances of recovery through surgery. Other methods such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy often support the treatment. Read everything you need to know about the topic here: How do you recognize colon cancer? What are its causes and risk factors? How is colon cancer treated? What are the chances of recovery?

combat colon cancer

Colon cancer: symptoms

Colon cancer usually goes unnoticed for a long time. Symptoms only appear when the tumour has reached a certain size.

If the tumour has already spread to other organs in an advanced stage (metastases), further symptoms may occur.

In the following article you will learn how to detect colon cancer. But be careful: the symptoms mentioned are not clear signs of colon cancer but can also have other causes. But you should always have it checked out by a doctor.

Altered bowel movements

Several patients suffer alternately from constipation and diarrhoea because the tumour narrows the intestine : The stool initially builds up in front of the tumour. It is then liquefied by bacterial decomposition and excreted as sometimes foul-smelling diarrhoea.

This alternation of constipation and diarrhoea is also known as paradoxical diarrhoea. It is a classic warning sign of colon cancer.

Some patients also simply experience recurrent constipation or recurrent diarrhoea.

If stool is also passed unintentionally when passing wind, this can also be an indication of colon cancer. Doctors refer to this as the “false friend” phenomenon.

It occurs when the muscle tension of the anal sphincter is reduced. The reason for this may be deep-seated colon cancer that affects the muscle and disrupts its function.

Sometimes bowel movements simply change shape due to colon cancer. It then appears around as thin as a pen. This is also where the name “pencil chairs” comes from.

For people over 40 years of age, any change in bowel habits that lasts more than three weeks should generally be checked by a doctor.

Blood in the stool

A malignant tumour bleeds easily. In colon cancer, this blood is excreted along with the stool. The majority of colon cancer patients have blood in their stool.

These blood admixtures are sometimes visible to the naked eye. If the colon cancer is located in the rectum area, the blood in the stool appears bright red (fresh blood). If the cancer grows at the beginning of the colon, the blood appears dark red.

Black stools (tarry stools) indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract (stomach , duodenum).

Occult blood

However, many colon cancer patients excrete so little blood that it is not immediately noticeable in the stool. These “invisible” blood admixtures are also referred to as occult bloodIt can be detected with certain tests (e.g. hemoccult test ).

Other causes of bloody stools

Blood in the stool is not a specific sign of colon cancer. Blood residue on the stool or toilet paper can usually be traced back to haemorrhoids . Typically, the blood is bright red and deposited in the stool. In colon cancer, however, the blood is often mixed with the stool due to intestinal movements.

Various intestinal infections or chronic intestinal inflammation can also cause bloody stools.

Poor performance and fatigueColon cancer can also cause a person’s general health to worsen. For example, those affected feel unusually tired and weak and are not as productive as usualFever can also be a sign of colon cancer.


Anaemia can occur, particularly in advanced stages of the disease . It occurs because the malignant intestinal tumour often bleeds. Anaemia manifests itself with symptoms such as paleness , poor performance, fatigue and, in severe cases, shortness of breath.

Weight loss

Another sign of colon cancer in advanced stages is unwanted weight loss. Colon cancer deprives the body of additional energy. As a result, patients lose weight even if they continue to eat as usual and normally.

Intestinal obstruction

Colon cancer can continue to grow in the intestines. For example, a large tumour can narrow the intestine so much that food particles can no longer pass through the area. This creates an intestinal obstruction (ileus) – a serious complication of colon cancer.


Pain can also occur with colon cancer, for example cramping abdominal pain. Some patients also experience pain during bowel movements.


If it continues to grow, the tumour can break through the intestinal wall and cause peritonitis. Sometimes colon cancer also grows into neighbouring organs, such as the urinary bladder.

If the cancer cells in the abdominal cavity spread to the peritoneum, doctors speak of peritoneal carcinosis.


If the colon cancer has spread to other areas of the body (metastasis), further symptoms may occur. It usually forms secondary tumors in the liver (liver metastases). This can, for example, cause pain in the right upper abdomen, jaundice or increased liver enzymes in the blood.

Lung metastases are also possible in colon cancer. They can become noticeable, for example, through shortness of breath or coughing. Metastases in the skeleton or brain are less common.

Colorectal cancer: rectal cancer

The rectum or rectum is the end part of the large intestine. If a malignant tumor forms here, doctors speak of rectal cancer.

Rectal cancer is usually removed surgically. Depending on the stage of the tumor, patients also receive radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Colon cancer: causes and risk factors

In most cases, colon cancer arises from benign growths in the intestinal lining. For many people, these so-called intestinal polyps remain harmless. In others, however, they develop further into colon cancer.

Intestinal polyps usually arise from the glandular tissue of the intestinal wall. This makes them one of the so-called adenomas. Colon cancer that develops from such benign adenomas is therefore adenocarcinoma (carcinoma = cancerous tumor).

Adenoma-carcinoma sequence

Colon cancer develops slowly. The development from healthy intestinal mucosa to an adenoma or even degeneration into cancer usually takes years.

Doctors call this process the adenoma-carcinoma sequence or serrated carcinogenesis pathway. The size, number and histological structure of the adenomas determine the risk of colon cancer.

Risk factors for colon cancer

According to current knowledge, colon cancer is caused by various risk factors. Possible causes of colorectal cancer include certain dietary and lifestyle habits as well as hereditary factors.

Diet and lifestyle

diet low in fiber, high in fat, and high in meat (especially lots of red meat and processed sausages) increases the risk of colon cancer. This food passes through the intestines more slowly than plant-based, fiber-rich foods. Experts suspect that cancer-causing substances from food remain in contact with the intestinal mucosa for longer and can damage it.

Lack of exercise and being overweight also promote the development of colon cancer. Alcohol and nicotine also increase the risk of colorectal cancer (and other cancers).

Genetic factors

It can be observed that first-degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) of colon cancer patients develop this type of cancer more often than other people. So, is colon cancer hereditary? Who is at increased risk? What is important then?

Genetic predisposition

On the one hand, there is obviously a genetic predisposition. However, researchers cannot discover any clear changes in the genome. But not everyone who has relatives with colon cancer gets it themselves. The combination of heredity and lifestyle usually triggers colon cancer.

If colon cancer runs in a family, first-degree relatives such as siblings and children have a two to three times increased risk of developing colon cancer themselves. If a first-degree relative becomes ill before the age of 60, this risk increases three to four times.

“Increased risk” does not mean that those affected will definitely develop colon cancer!

Colon polyps in the family also play a role. If doctors found these in first-degree relatives before they were 50, your own risk of colon cancer is also increased.

However, second-degree relatives (grandchildren, grandparents, cousins ​​and their parents) only have a slightly increased risk of colon cancer. However, exact numbers are not yet known.

According to current knowledge, third-degree relatives no longer have an increased risk of colon cancer.

Talk openly with your relatives about previous illnesses in the family! This is the only way you and your relatives can recognize a possible risk of colon cancer!

Hereditary colon cancer

However, there are detectable gene changes (mutations) that directly promote the formation of a malignant tumour in the intestine. The two most well-known hereditary diseases of colon cancer are:

  • HNPCC (Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or Lynch syndrome) : This is the most common form of hereditary colon cancer. Due to mutations, various repair systems for the genetic material are defective. Faulty cells are more likely to form. This significantly increases the risk of colon cancer, but also of other cancers (such as uterine, ovarian and stomach cancer ).
  • FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis, FAP) : In this rare disease, countless polyps form throughout the intestine at a young age. If left untreated, they almost always develop into colon cancer. Sections of the intestine are often surgically removed as a precaution to prevent colon cancer in FAP.

Those affected by these hereditary diseases become ill much earlier than usual. Doctors advise anyone who is suspected of having HNPCC to have annual colonoscopies starting at age 25. Doctors even examine FAP sufferers once a year from the age of ten and remove noticeable polyps.

Age as a risk factor

Age also has a big influence: the older someone is, the higher their risk of colon cancer. Around 90 percent of all colon cancers occur after the age of 50. More than half of colon cancer patients are older than 70 years.

Chronic inflammatory bowel disease

The risk of colon cancer is also increased if someone has inflammatory bowel diseasePeople with ulcerative colitis are particularly affected: their colon is chronically inflamed. About five percent of those affected develop colon cancer.

The risk of colon cancer can also be increased if you have Crohn ‘s disease. This is particularly true if the chronic inflammation affects the large intestine (but is usually limited to the last section of the small intestine).

Diabetes mellitus type 2

People with type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus type 2) have an increased amount of the messenger insulin in their blood in the initial phase of the disease. According to some researchers, these are responsible for significantly increasing the risk of colon cancer. Insulin appears to generally promote the growth and proliferation of cells – including cancer cells.

Colon cancer: examinations and diagnosis

Around 29,500 women and 33,500 men develop colon cancer every year. When diagnosed, patients are on average 71 years old (men) and 75 years old (women).

If you suspect colon cancer, you should first contact your family doctor. If a colonoscopy makes sense, he will refer you to a specialist in gastroenterology.

The doctor will first talk to you in detail to take your medical history (anamnesis ). He will have your complaints described in detail. He will also obtain information that will help him better assess your likelihood of colon cancer. Possible questions the doctor may ask during the anamnesis interview include:

  • Has your digestion changed (e.g. constipation or diarrhoea)?
  • Have you noticed traces of blood in your stool?
  • Does your family have colon cancer?
  • Does anyone in your family suffer or have had other cancers such as breast, ovarian or cervical cancer?
  • Have you lost weight unintentionally?
  • Do you smoke and drink alcohol?
  • How often do you eat meat?
  • Do you have diabetes?

Physical examination

Next, the doctor examines you: among other things, he listens to your stomach with the stethoscope and feels it with his hands. In the case of colon cancer, the palpation examination can sometimes be painful.

An important examination if colon cancer is suspected is the so-called digital rectal examination (DRE). The doctor inserts his finger into the anus and feels the end of the intestine with his finger. In this way, colon cancer located there can be easily felt (hard, bumpy). Sometimes the doctor also detects traces of blood on the glove after a DRE.

Up to ten percent of colon cancer cases can be felt this way!

Test for blood in stool

Sometimes a stool sample is used to check whether there is blood in the stool that is not visible to the naked eye (occult blood). This test is called a fecal occult blood test (FOBT).

However, FOBTs say nothing about where exactly the bleeding occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. The test can also be positive if blood is swallowed, for example from a nose or gum bleed.

Conversely, not all intestinal tumors bleed – or at least not constantly. Even if the test is negative, cancerous tumors may be present in the intestine (false negative result). A colonoscopy is therefore always the safer alternative.

Immunological stool test (i-FOBT)

For some time now, doctors have been using the so-called immunological stool test (i-FOBT). It can distinguish between human and animal blood (when eating raw meat) in the stool. This is done using antibodies that only bind to human blood.

You can get the test from your family doctor or gastroenterologist. It contains a spatula, a toilet catcher and a tube. You fill a stool sample into the tube and give it to your doctor. He sends the test to a laboratory for examination.

For an immunological stool test, a stool sample is usually sufficient.

Women should not do the immunological stool test during or shortly after their period. This can lead to a false-positive test result.

You can read more about the test and its accuracy in the article Immunological stool test (iFOBT) .

Hemoccult test

The previously used hemoccult test has now been largely replaced by the immunological stool test.

It also responds to animal blood and some vegetables. For example, patients who eat raw meat before sampling will receive a false positive result.

Whether an immunological stool test or a hemoccult test: if colon cancer is suspected, a colonoscopy is also carried out.

More stool tests

There are other tests that check stool for signs of colon cancer. The M2-PK test, for example, looks for a specific protein that is associated with the tumour. Current medical guidelines do not recommend the use of this test.

Genetic or DNA stool tests specifically look for colon cancer cells – based on their genetic material. The studies suggest a benefit, but the data are not sufficient to make a recommendation. In addition, this test is very expensive in comparison.

Colonoscopy (colonoscopy)

It is the most informative examination if colon cancer is suspected. Specialized doctors (gastroenterologists) examine the intestines using a tubular instrument (endoscope) that is equipped with a small camera and a light source. The endoscope is inserted into the intestine. The inside of the intestine is then viewed on a monitor.

During a colonoscopy, the doctor can remove noticeable colon polyps directly. It is also possible to take tissue samples (biopsies) from suspicious areas of the intestinal mucosa. You will then be examined histologically (histologically). In this way, colon cancer can be reliably detected or ruled out.

Virtual and small colonoscopy

If a normal colonoscopy cannot be carried out, the doctor can resort to a virtual colonoscopy or a rectoscopy /sigmoidoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy

During virtual colonoscopy (CT or MR colonography), computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide many images of the intestine. A computer uses them to calculate a three-dimensional image and displays it graphically.

Here, too, the patient must first completely empty his intestines using laxatives (as with a normal colonoscopy).

A disadvantage of virtual colonoscopy is that the result is not as precise as with normal colonoscopy. In addition, neither polyps nor tissue samples can be taken during the examination. A proper colonoscopy or a surgical procedure may then be necessary.

Recto-sigmoidoscopy (small colonoscopy)

Rectoscopy is the reflection of the rectum with an endoscope. During sigmoidoscopy, the doctor examines not only the rectum but also the section of intestine in front of it (S-shaped colon loop). In contrast to a normal colonoscopy, the doctor does not examine the entire colon during this “small” colonoscopy.

Further examinations for colon cancer

If the diagnosis of colon cancer has been made, further examinations must show how far the cancer has progressed (colon cancer stages: see below). Doctors refer to this as “staging”:

  • Rectal ultrasound examination (sonography) : This can be used to determine how far the tumor has spread into the intestinal wall.
  • Ultrasound examination (sonography) of the abdominal cavity: The doctor uses ultrasound to look for metastases, especially in the liver. He can also examine other abdominal organs (spleen , kidneys, pancreas ).
  • Computed tomography (CT) : Here, too, the doctor looks for colon cancer metastases, for example in the lungs or liver. In order to better distinguish individual structures from one another, the doctor administers a contrast medium (CM) before the examination.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI): MRI with contrast medium allows a very precise representation of various tissues and organs – more precise than with CT. The MRI is particularly important before an operation.
  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray helps to detect metastases in the lungs. However, compared to CT or MRI, it is rather inaccurate.

Tumour markers

In colon cancer patients, the doctor regularly measures so-called tumor markers in the blood . Tumour markers are substances that are found in increased quantities in the blood in many types of cancer.

In colon cancer, the “carcinoembryonic antigen” ( CEA ) in the blood can be elevated. However, it is not suitable for the early detection of colon cancer. Healthy intestinal cells also produce CEA, and the level can be increased in smokers and liver diseases. Rather, the CEA level helps to assess the course of the disease and the success of therapy.

After the tumour is surgically removed, the CEA values ​​usually fall into the normal range. If a relapse occurs, the value increases again. The effect of chemotherapy can also be estimated using the CEA.

Doctors also determine the CEA value after successful therapy – as part of follow-up care. This means that a relapse can often be detected early!

Genetic counselling

If you suspect hereditary colorectal cancer (HNPCC, FAP and other rare forms), genetic counselling and testing is usually carried out . Those affected turn to specialized centres. The expert then examines the patient’s genetic makeup for characteristic gene changes (mutations).

If the doctor discovers a hereditary tendency to colon cancer, he also offers close relatives (parents, siblings, children) genetic counselling and a genetic test. The doctor can also recommend further individual colon cancer screening. This depends on the cause:

  • Genetic predisposition without evidence of a hereditary change: First mirroring ten years before the age of onset of the affected first-degree relative, at the latest from the age of 40 to 45, repeat every ten years if the findings are normal.
  • Suspected HNPCC: Mirroring at least every three (to five) years, genetic counselling from the age of 25.
  • Secured HNPCC : Annual colonoscopy from the age of 25, also gastroscopy from the age of 35 ; Women aged 25 and over also undergo an annual gynaecological ultrasound examination for the early detection of ovarian and uterine cancer ; From the age of 35, samples are taken from the uterine lining.
  • Suspected/confirmed FAP: Genetic counselling from the age of ten, from then on also annual recto-sigmoidoscopy; in the case of adenomas, extension to complete colonoscopy.

Colon cancer stages

There are two common systems for staging colon cancer: First, there is the so-called TNM classification. It can be used for almost all tumors and describes the spread of the tumour. Using the TNM classification, the cancer can then be divided into specific colon cancer stages according to the UICC (Union Internationale contre le cancer).

TNM classification

TNM is an abbreviation for the following three terms:

  • T for tumour: This parameter indicates the tumour spread. It is determined based on the so-called infiltration depth (i.e. how deeply the tumour has penetrated the tissue).
  • N for nodes (lymph nodes): This parameter indicates whether and how many lymph nodes are affected by the cancer cells.
  • M for metastases (secondary tumors): This factor indicates whether and how many metastases are present in more distant areas of the body.

Colon cancer stages according to UICC

The UICC (Union Internationale against Cancer) colon cancer stages are based on the TNM classification. Depending on the extent of the tumor, colon cancer is assigned to a specific UICC stage for each patient. The treatment then depends on that. In addition, the patient’s prognosis can be roughly estimated based on the UICC stage.

Colon cancer: Treatment

If colon cancer is discovered early, i.e. before it has formed daughter cells in the body, it is often curable. The exact treatment for colon cancer initially depends on which section of the intestine is affected.

There are fundamental differences between the treatment of colon cancer and that of rectal cancer. This text section explains the treatment of colon cancer.

You can find out how rectal cancer is treated in the text Rectal Cancer .

The exact treatment plan for colon cancer depends on several factors: It plays a role where exactly the tumour is located; how big it is and whether it has already spread to other areas of the body (tumour stage). The age and general condition of the patient also influence therapy planning.

Colon cancer: Surgery

The main treatment method for colon cancer is surgery: surgeons cut out the affected part of the intestine.

The surgeon then sews the remaining ends of the intestine together. This means the patient has a continuous intestine again. Only very rarely does an artificial intestinal outlet ( anus praeter, stoma ) have to be created permanently or temporarily in the case of colon cancer .


The adjacent lymph nodes are also removed along with the affected intestinal section. Pathologists examine the intestinal section and lymph nodes under the microscope. When it comes to intestinal tissue, you check whether the tumor has been completely excised. When the lymph nodes are removed, doctors check whether cancer cells have already spread there.

Colon cancer surgery for metastases

Even in more advanced stages, doctors try to treat colon cancer surgically. They also cut out daughter tumors such as lung or liver metastases. The prerequisite, however, is that the location and number of metastases as well as the general condition of the patient allow this procedure.

Chemotherapy for colon cancer

If colon cancer is more advanced, many patients receive chemotherapy in addition to surgery . There is a very high risk that individual cancer cells have already spread throughout the body. The aim of chemotherapy is to kill these cancer cells.

Doctors call chemotherapy after surgery adjuvant chemotherapy. Doctors also treat metastatic colon cancer with chemotherapy, especially if they cannot operate on the tumors.

The patient receives special cancer medications, so-called cytostatics. They inhibit the growth of cancer cells or damage them directly, causing them to die. The cytostatics are administered at regular intervals either as an infusion and/or in tablet form. The duration of therapy lasts approximately six months.

Immunotherapy for colon cancer

In some cases of advanced colon cancer, doctors add immunotherapy to chemotherapy. Special antibodies are used that target specific features of the tumour.

Immunotherapy for cancer is therefore particularly suitable for patients whose tumors have exactly these characteristics. To do this, doctors (pathologists) test the colorectal cancer genome for various gene changes (e.g. RAS, BRAF, microsatellite status) as part of a so-called molecular pathological examination.

EGF receptor antibodies

For colorectal cancer, for example, doctors use EGF receptor antibodies (such as cetuximab or panitumumab). They occupy the docking sites (receptors) for the epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the cancer cells. The growth factor can no longer dock – tumor growth is slowed down.

VEGF antibodies

Another immunotherapy includes VEGF antibodies (such as bevacizumab): The “vascular endothelial growth factor” (VEGF) actually ensures that new blood vessels form (angiogenesis) and supply the tumor with nutrients and oxygen.

The antibodies inhibit VEGF and thus prevent the formation of new tumor-supplying blood vessels (angiogenesis inhibitors). This means that the colon cancer no longer receives enough blood to be able to spread further.

Radiation therapy for colon cancer

Radiation therapy plays a role in colon cancer, especially if the tumor is in the rectum (rectal cancer).

However, it is not common in colon cancer. At most, it can be useful to specifically combat metastases in bones or the brain.

Therapy of liver metastases

Settlements in the liver are common in colon cancer. Doctors usually try to remove these metastases surgically. But that is not always possible. Then other methods can be used. These primarily include radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT).

You can read more about liver metastases and their treatment in our article Liver metastases.

Alternative medicine

Colon cancer is a serious disease that can be easily treated with conventional medicine. If you would like to use alternative medicine concepts, you should always discuss this with your treating doctor. This way you can rule out possible interactions.

For herbal treatment, patients rely on mistletoe therapy. However, their effect has not been proven and the studies on this are usually of poor quality. The few good studies on mistletoe therapy show no influence on tumor diseases such as colon cancer.

In the case of severe cancer, remedies are also offered that have no scientific basis and are expensive. Herbal products from Asia are often contaminated (heavy metals, pesticides, etc.).

Of course, in consultation with your treating doctors, you can try alternative medical therapies as a supplement to conventional medicine. These could, for example, alleviate side effects of therapy or symptoms of the disease. A placebo effect can contribute to this, which can actually have a strong effect. Based on the current state of research, it seems very unlikely that alternative therapies could actually combat cancer.

If you use alternative medical therapies for cancer, discuss this with your treating doctor. This way you can rule out possible interactions. There is no scientific evidence on the effectiveness of alternative medical therapies for curing cancer.

Colon cancer: disease progression and prognosis

The course of the disease and the prognosis of colon cancer depend crucially on the stage of the disease. In principle, doctors always try to cure colon cancer (curative treatment). Sometimes, however, they can only delay the progression and associated complications with therapy but cannot prevent death (palliative treatment).

Follow-up examinations

After the curative treatment, the doctor creates an individual aftercare plan over a period of five years. In this context, the patient receives special follow-up examinations.

They include, for example, a doctor-patient conversation, a physical examination, the determination of the tumor marker CEA in the blood, a colonoscopy (colposcopy), ultrasound examinations of the abdominal cavity and, if necessary, a computer tomography. The patient will find out from their doctor when which examination is due.

Colon cancer: chances of recovery

Whether colon cancer can be cured depends largely on the stage of the disease. If discovered and treated early, it is easily curable. However, the chances of curing colon cancer decrease the more advanced the tumor is.

With extensive involvement of the peritoneum (peritoneal carcinosis), the mean survival time of patients is even lower than with other metastases (e.g. in the liver).

Colon cancer: Life expectancy

The life expectancy of colon cancer patients has increased in recent years. On the one hand, this is due to the screening program: from a certain age onwards, regular colon cancer screenings are planned. Colon cancer is often discovered in its early stages. On the other hand, improved treatment options also increase the life expectancy of colon cancer patients.

In general, the life expectancy of colon cancer depends on the stage of the disease. It is usually given as the so-called five-year survival rate. This refers to the proportion of patients who are still alive five years after diagnosis.

Of course, the prerequisite for this is that treatment has taken place. For colon cancer and rectal cancer, the five-year survival rates are approximately.

Please remember that these are statistical averages. The prognosis in individual cases can sometimes deviate significantly from these values.

Colon cancer: final stage

Unfortunately, those affected with colon cancer in the highest stage (stage IV) have a very poor prognosis. In this situation, healing (curative therapy approach) is usually no longer possible. Patients then receive palliative treatment.

The main aim is to alleviate the patient’s symptoms and thus improve his quality of life. With palliative chemotherapy, doctors also try to delay progression and further suffering for as long as possible. However, colon cancer patients must be aware that chemotherapy cannot cure them.

Colon cancer prevention

Colon cancer often only causes symptoms when it is more advanced. Then the chances of recovery are no longer as good as in the early stages of cancer. That’s why preventive examinations are very important. This is especially true if someone has known risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as being overweight or having an increased or early history of colon cancer in the family.

As part of statutory colon cancer screening, health insurance companies pay for certain examinations at certain intervals for patients aged 50 and over. These include, for example, an examination of the stool for “hidden” (occult) blood and a colonoscopy.

You can find out when you are legally entitled to such colon cancer screenings in the article Colon Cancer Prevention.

Factors protective against colon cancer

In addition to the risk factors for colon cancer mentioned, there are also influencing factors that protect against colon cancer. This includes regular physical activity and a high-fiber, low-meat diet. The exercise and the fiber stimulate intestinal movements. This means that food remains are transported through the intestines more quickly. This means that toxins in the stool can have a shorter impact on the intestinal mucosa – reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Colon Cancer Awareness in the UAE

Colorectal Cancer is a significant health concern in the United Arab Emirates. The incidence of this cancer has been on rise and attributed to the factors of lifestyle change, sedentary habits and dietary patterns. The DHA has taken a step to support members in Dubai through the ‘Basmah initiative’. In addition, the UAE’s healthcare system has been working to raise awareness about the importance of screenings, encouraging individuals to undergo routine check-ups for timely diagnosis and treatment.