Singer Preta Gil revealed on Tuesday (10/1) that she has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Through her social media, she told of having been hospitalized in the last week, after experiencing abdominal discomfort.
“Thank God, today I received a definitive diagnosis. I have adenocarcinoma in the final part of the intestine,” wrote Gilberto Gil’s daughter.
Bowel cancer, also known as colon and rectum or colorectal cancer, includes cancers that start in the part of the large intestine called the colon and in the rectum — the end of the intestine, immediately before the anus — and anus.
The patient should be aware of the early common signs and symptoms of the disease. Early diagnosis is one of the factors contributing to successful treatment. They may include:
- Blood in stool;
- Alternation of diarrhea and constipation;
- Abdominal pain or discomfort;
- Weakness and anemia;
- Weight loss with no apparent cause;
- Change in stool shape (very thin, long stools) e
- Abdominal mass (tumor).
Oncologist Nilson Correia, of Oncoclinicas Brasília, explains that this type of tumor is considered silent. When symptoms begin to appear, they are usually non-specific. The National Cancer Institute (Inca) also reminds that, in many cases, they can be caused by other problems of the intestinal tract other than cancer, but it is important that they are examined by a doctor, especially if they do not improve in a few days.
“When the tumor produces more associated symptoms, it is often already in a more advanced stage, which is why the importance of an investigation as soon as some symptoms are noticed and also of doing screening tests,” says Correia.
Diagnosis can be made by clinical, laboratory, endoscopic, or radiological examinations after the individual has noticed symptoms suggestive of the disease or when screening people in groups at increased risk of developing the disease.
Screening for cancers of the colon and rectum can be done with fecal occult blood testing and endoscopy, including colonoscopy or rectosigmoidoscopy.
Also known as colon and rectal or colorectal cancer, it includes cancers that start in the part of the large intestine – called the colon -, rectum and anusGetty Images
According to data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca), the problem is estimated to have caused the deaths of around 20,000 people in Brazil in 2019 alone.Getty Images
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The month of March is dedicated to spreading information about the disease. If detected early, bowel cancer is treatable and the patient can be cured.Getty Images
The main factors related to an increased risk of developing bowel cancer are: age 50 or older, excess body weight and a diet low in fruit, vegetables and fiberGetty Images
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Inflammatory bowel diseases such as chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease also increase the risk of bowel cancer, as do inherited diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).Getty Images
Other factors include a family history of bowel cancer, a personal history of bowel, ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer, and smoking and alcohol use.Getty Images
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The symptoms most associated with bowel cancer are: blood in stools, change in bowel habits, abdominal pain or discomfort, weakness and anemia, weight loss with no apparent cause, change in stools, and abdominal mass (tumor).Getty Images
Diagnosis requires biopsy (examination of a small piece of tissue taken from the suspected lesion). The sample is taken through a device passed through the rectum (endoscope)Getty Images
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Treatment depends mainly on the size, location and extent of the tumor. When the disease is widespread, with metastases to the liver, lung or other organs, the chances of recovery are reduced.Getty Images
Surgery is usually the initial treatment, removing the affected part of the intestine and the lymph nodes inside the abdomen. Other stages of treatment include radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, to reduce the chance of the tumor coming back.Getty Images
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Maintaining an adequate body weight, practicing physical activity and eating a healthy diet are essential for the prevention of bowel cancer.Getty Images
Furthermore, the consumption of processed meats (for example sausage, mortadella, sausage, ham, bacon, turkey breast, turkey breast, salami) should be avoided and the consumption of red meat should be limited to 500 grams of cooked meat per weekGetty Images
Preta informed that he will start the treatment next Monday (1/16). Bowel cancer is treatable, with a chance of cure in most cases, especially if detected before it has spread to other organs.
The approach depends on the size, location and extent of the tumor. Surgery to remove the affected part of the intestine and lymph nodes within the abdomen is indicated as initial treatment.
It may also include radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy to reduce the chance of the tumor coming back. The patient should continue with medical follow-up to monitor for recurrence or new tumors.
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