According to data provided by the WHO (World Health Organization), the tumors responsible for the highest number of deaths worldwide in 2018 were lung cancer (18.4% of total deaths from cancer), colorectal cancer (9 , 2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), liver cancer (8.2%) and esophageal cancer (3.4%). To this end and coinciding with this day, the FEAD, in collaboration with Laboratorios Vilardell, have launched the campaign “Cuídatex5” with the aim of expanding knowledge and raising awareness among citizens about the importance of the 5 types of cancers from digestive system: stomach, pancreas, liver, colon and esophagus, which are included in gastrointestinal cancer.
In Spain, in 2017, according to the INE (National Institute of Statistics), the number of deaths due to digestive cancer was distributed as follows: colorectal cancer 15,410, pancreas 6,818, stomach 5,154, liver 5,192 and esophageal 1,850 deaths.
According to the INE (National Institute of Statistics), in 2017, the number of deaths due to digestive cancer was distributed as follows: colorectal cancer 15,410, pancreas 6,818, stomach 5,154, liver 5,192 and esophageal 1,850 deaths.
“From the Digestive Disease Foundation, we know that modifying or avoiding risk factors, as well as the detection and early treatment of Digestive System cancers are key to reducing mortality. For this, it is essential to better understand the pathology and disseminate the main preventive measures, “explains Dr. Mileidis San Juan Acosta, a specialist in Digestive Diseases and responsible for the Foundation Activities Committee of the Spanish Foundation of Digestive Diseases (FEAD).
For this reason, one of the objectives of the “Cuídatex5” campaign is to make visible the 5 key measures for the prevention of cancers of the Digestive System that promotes the European Code against cancer, as well as to develop information and specific contents for each type of cancer, beginning with stomach cancer
Preventive Measures Against Cancers From Digestive System
1. Avoid tobacco use: when quitting smoking, the increase in cancer risk induced by smoking disappears. The advantage is evident within 5 years and is more marked with the passage of time.
2. Healthy diet and avoid obesity: It is convenient to consume vegetables and fruits daily, limit the consumption of foods containing animal fat (except fish), dairy products and other fat derivatives (particularly saturated fatty acids ), limit hypercaloric foods (rich in sugar or fat) and sugary drinks, avoid processed meat and limit the consumption of red meat and foods with lots of salt.
3. Perform daily physical exercise: Many studies confirm that regular physical activity is associated with a reduction in the risk of colon cancer.
4. Moderate alcohol consumption: There is evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and that the risk of esophageal cancer is reduced by 60% at 10 years or more after leaving for a drink. Drinking alcohol is also strongly associated with the risk of liver cancer through the development of liver cirrhosis. And there has also been a linear correlation with the amount of alcohol consumed and a high risk of colorectal cancer.
5. Screening and vaccination: There is evidence that screening for colorectal cancer in a population at medium risk, with an annual or biennial fecal occult blood test or colonoscopy every 10 years, decreases the incidence and mortality due to this neoplasm.
On the other hand, given that chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection accounts for the majority of liver cancers and that there is an effective vaccine against hepatitis B virus, it would be advisable to carry out a universal vaccination.
Nonspecific Symptoms Make Diagnosis of Cancers From Digestive System Difficult
Gastric or stomach cancer has an annual incidence of about 7,865 cases (4,863 men and 3,002 women) and mortality of 5,154 patients. “One of the greatest dangers of gastric cancer is that by not producing symptoms or that they are not specific, the diagnosis is made in advanced stages or comes as a result of tests related to other diseases, so the control of risk factors As a treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection, avoiding a diet rich in salt and not smoking or consuming alcohol is essential to reduce its prevalence, “says Dr. Mileidis San Juan Acosta.
It is important to highlight the diagnosis and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection in the prevention of gastric cancers from digestive system, mainly in those patients with first-degree relatives with gastric cancer. In the same way, the conservation of food in cold stores and better cooking of them diets rich in fruits and vegetables and not consume tobacco or alcohol are preventive measures that reduce the chances of developing gastric cancer and justify the tendency to decrease in the last decades of gastric cancer in Spain.
When gastric cancer is suspected, the diagnosis required in most cases is a gastroscopy with a biopsy. In addition, the extension study is completed with tests such as abdominopelvic TAC, PET positron emission tomography, endoscopic ultrasound, and in some cases, it is necessary to perform a laparoscopy.