In the coming months, 16 million insured from 50 to 74 years will receive a letter inviting them to an organized colorectal cancer screening. In France, it is the second leading cause of cancer death with approximately 17,000 deaths per year.

Colorectal cancer: 32nd most common cancer

Third that of cancer after prostate and breast cancer, colorectal cancer is common, but remains unknown in France. It contains two types of cancer neighbors, colon cancer and the rectum. In 2005, more than 37,000 new cases were detected. By comparison, 62,000 new cases of prostate cancer in men and 40,000 breast cancer in women were discovered in the same year. Since 2000, the mortality rate has decreased, but still 17,000 deaths have been recorded in 2005.Si the current campaign aims to inform the general population, it primarily targets the age group 50-74 years.


Indeed, 94% of cancers occur after age 50 . With advances in screening techniques, a 50% on this test would reduce the mortality rate of about 20%. Detected early, cervical cancer can indeed be cured in nine of ten cases. Today, only one in five cases detected at early stage of maladie.Les likelihood of developing the disease vary, again, depending on the individual, the risk is accentuated by family history. At age 55, incidence is rising faster among men than women: in 2000, the median age of diagnosis of colorectal cancer was 72 years for men and 75 for women. Nevertheless, it is strongly advised to regularly monitoring, because the warning signs often remain invisible and early detection significantly increases the chances of survie.Du September 13 to October 14, 2008, the National Cancer Institute (Inca) launches television and radio campaign aimed at informing the public about this cancer that is often forgotten.

Initiated by the government since 2002 in 23 pilot counties, the colorectal cancer screening will be extended to the whole country from here to there end of 2008. The awareness campaign is simple: 16 million people aged 50 to 74 years will receive a letter inviting them to visit their doctor for information and ask for the test, Hemoccult II ®.

The latter consists of a stool sample at home and sending the sample to the laboratory analyzes referenced in a prepaid envelope. In case of negative result (97% of cases), it is advisable to repeat the test every two years and to alert their physician if worrisome symptoms (bleeding in the stool, diarrhea and constipation unusual abdominal pain and weight loss) . If the test proves positive, this does not mean the diagnosis of cancer , but only the presence of occult blood in stool analyzed. To identify the origin, the doctor then prescribed a colonoscopy (visual exploration of the intestine without general anesthesia) performed in a gastroentérologue.Outre these means of detection of pathology, it is nevertheless advisable to have a healthy lifestyle . Today, the causes of cancer colorectal not fully identified, but several factors contribute to their occurrence, however: as in other types of cancer, poor nutrition and excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco are factors significant risks. Studies also show the detrimental effect of excessive consumption of meat and refined grains (pasta, rice, bread ..) and underline the protective role of vegetables. The influence of other foods such as meats, fruits and fibers remains to be proven.