Colorectal Cancer


What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be named colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start.

Note: Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common.

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Statistics

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Incidence rate: 36.3 per 100,000 populations (male & female)

Mortality rate: 12  per 100,000 populations (male & female)

(Hong Kong Cancer Registry 2020)

Nepal

Nepal

Incidence rate: 5.8  per 100,000 populations (male & female)

Mortality rate: 4.8 per 100,000 populations (male & female)

(IARC, 2020)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Incidence rate: 4.2 per 100,000 populations (male & female)

Mortality rate: 3.3 per 100,000 populations ((male & female)

(IARC, 2020)

India

India

Incidence rate: 4.4 per 100,000 populations (male & female)

Mortality rate: 3.4  per 100,000 populations (male & female)

(IARC, 2020)

Symptoms

Early stage colorectal cancer may not have any symptoms.

  • Blood mixed with feces.
  • Mucus in the feces.
  • Change in bowel habit (e.g. Passing stool more often than usual, diarrhea alternating with constipation).
  • Bloating (stomach feeling full of gas or fluid, that is unpleasant).
  • Abdominal (Tummy) pains.
  • Generally unwell, tiredness and weight loss.

Risk Factors

Modifiable: Mainly related to sedentary lifestyle

  • High consumption of red meat and processed meat
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Being obese
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

Non-Modifiable:

  • Men aged 50 or above
  • History of colonic polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
    • If your parent, sibling, or children has colorectal cancer, risk of developing the disease increases 2-3 folds.

  • Hereditary bowel diseases
  • Prolonged history of inflammation of the bowel

Please note: Having above risk factor does not mean that you must have colorectal cancer – it only means that your risk of developing colorectal cancer may be higher than average and you should seek further medical advice from your doctor.

Preventive Measures

  • Eat high fiber diet such as, vegetables, fruits, whole grain, etc
  • Reduce consumption of red meat
  • Do regular exercise (30 minutes every day)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Do not smoke

Cervical cancer


What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer_L

Cervical cancer develops as a result of abnormal cell changes at the cervix.

Statistics

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Incidence rate: 7.6 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 1.9 per 100,000 populations in females

(Hong Kong Cancer Registry, 2020)

Nepal

Nepal

Incidence rate: 21.5 per 100,000 populations in females

Mortality rate: 14.3 per 100,000 populations in females

(IARC, 2020)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Incidence rate: 7.3 per 100,000 populations in females

Mortality rate: 5.2 per 100,000 populations in females

(IARC, 2020)

India

India

Incidence rate: 14.7 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 9.2 per 100,000 populations, in females

(IARC, 2020)

Signs and Symptoms

There may not be any symptoms at an early stage

  • Bleeding between regular menstrual cycle
  • Abnormal bleeding such as after sexual intercourse or pelvic examination
  • Menstrual period that lasts longer than usual
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge with foul smell
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain

Risk factors of cervical cancer include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Weakened immunity
  • Human papillomavirus HPV (major cause of cervical cancer)
  • Use of oral contraceptive for more than 5 years (the risk returns to normal after 10 years of stopping use)
  • Smoking
  • Multiple childbirth and young age at first pregnancy     
  • Having sexual intercourse at an early age

Please note: Having above risk factor does not mean that you must have cervical cancer – it only means that your risk of developing cervical cancer may be higher than average and you should seek further medical advice from your doctor.

Preventive measures

  • Practice safer sex: avoid having multiple sex partners and use condoms
  • Stop smoking
  • Get HPV vaccination before getting sexually active because vaccination provides protection against certain types of HPV.

Prostate Cancer


What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way.

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  • Prostate is a small gland in the pelvis found only in men.
  • It is located between the penis and the bladder and surrounds the urethra.

Statistics

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Incidence rate: 25.5 per 100,000 populations in males

Mortality rate: 4.3 per 100,000 populations in males

(Hong Kong Cancer Registry, 2018)

Nepal

Nepal

Incidence rate: 1.1 per 100,000 populations

Mortality rate: 0.79 per 100,000 populations

(IARC, 2018)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Incidence rate: 6.7 per 100,000 populations in males

Mortality rate: 5.0  per 100,000 populations in males

(IARC, 2018)

India

India

Incidence rate: 4.4 per 100,000 populations

Mortality rate: 2.9 per 100,000 populations

(IARC, 2018)

Symptoms

Prostate cancer and prostate enlargement has similar urinary symptoms.

  • Difficulty or delay in urinating
  • Slow or weak stream of urine
  • Blood in urine 
  • Pain in the lower back and hips

Risk Factors

  • Age: Risk increases with age
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Family medical history
    • If your parent, sibling, or children has prostate cancer, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

Please note: Having any of the above risk factors does not mean that you must have prostate cancer – it only means that your risk of developing prostate cancer may be higher than average and you should seek further medical advice from your doctor.

Screening test

Two main tests are performed for prostate cancer screening

  1. Digital rectal exam (DRE): The doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to check for anything abnormal.
  1. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: PSA test is performed to check the level of PSA in the blood.

Department of Health (2017). Prostate cancer prevention and screening. Retrieved at:https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/5_prostate_cancer_prevention_and_screening_eng.pdf

Preventive measures

  • Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Do regular exercise (30 minutes every day)
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

Breast Cancer


What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of breast cells. These abnormal breast cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.

Statistics

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Incidence rate: 62.9 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 9.4 per 100,000 populations in females

(Hong Kong Cancer Registry, 2020)

Nepal

Nepal

Incidence rate: 15 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 7 per 100,000 populations in females

(IARC, 2020)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Incidence rate: 114 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 22 per 100,000 populations in females

(IARC, 2020)

India

India

Incidence rate: 24.7 per 100,000 populations, in females

Mortality rate: 11.9 per 100,000 populations in females

(IARC, 2020)

Signs and Symptoms

  • New lump or thickening in the breast
  • Dimples in the breast
  • Enlarged lymph nodes or a lump in the armpit
  • Discharge from the nipples
  • Pitting of the skin (looks like the skin of an orange)
  • Nipple turns inwards into the breast

Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors

  • Lack of physical activity

Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Family medical History
  • Being obese
  • Getting older
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Changes in BRCA1 BRCA 2 genes
  • High fat intake (Unhealthy diet)
  • Long term use of hormone replacement therapy
  • Having first child after the age of 35
  • Never had childbirth 
  • History of breast disease
  • Late menopause (after 55 years)
  • Early menstruation (before the age of 12)

Please note: Having above risk factor does not mean that you must have breast cancer – it only means that your risk of developing breast cancer may be higher than average and you should seek further medical advice from your doctor.

Preventive Measures

  • Do regular exercise (30 min every day)
  • No alcohol use
  • Stop smoking
  • Breastfeeding