Increase Fibre Rich Diet to Avoid Colon Cancer, Expert Advises
Dr. Biodun Ogungbo, an Abuja based Neurosurgeon, has advised Nigerians to increase their intake of fibre-rich diet to avoid colon cancer in future.
Ogungbo gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
“Cancer is on the increase in many countries including Nigeria. It is perhaps more pertinent in Nigeria because of the poor state of our healthcare and our low fibre diet.
“Some studies have shown that excessive consumption of red meat, as well as decreased intake of fruits and vegetables, may increase your chance of colon cancer.
“Needless to say, preventing cancer is critically important in Nigeria, it improves the chances of a permanent cure of this much-dreaded cancer,” Ogungbo said.
He said both men and women are also prone to developing bowel cancer, adding there should be routine screening from age 45.
Ogungbo said the age requirement for the screening was lower for patients with a personal or family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
“Old age comes with its own baggage of degenerative disease like arthritis and of course, the increased risk of cancer.
“For men, it is prostate cancer and for women, breast and cervical cancers.
“Whether you are male or female, you increase your chance of lung cancer if you smoke or are around people that smoking,” he warned.
Ogungbo said the signs and symptoms of colon cancer are not always obvious, which makes colon cancer screening important.
He said some other symptoms may point to colon cancer such as weight loss, rectal bleeding associated with changes in bowel habits, bloating, nausea and vomiting that may indicate a blockage of the colon.
“A flexible sigmoidoscopy allows the doctors to check every inch of the left side of the bowel for early signs of cancer or things that can develop into cancer.
“This is vitally important to nip any problems in the bud. Studies have shown that polyps may develop into cancer if left in place,’’ he said.
He explained that a flexible sigmoidoscopy is a test performed by inserting a long camera, a bendable: flexible endoscope into the anus and into the bowels to see the walls of the bowel.
Ogungbo said it is used to look for anything such as growths and cancer.
“They also look at the middle part called the transverse colon and the right side of your colon.
“The doctor may also be able to look at the part of your small intestine that attaches to your colon. This part of the small intestine is called the terminal ileum.
“No sedation was necessary as this is a painless procedure. There is some degree of discomfort though as they need to pump some air into your bowel to be able to see things properly,” he said.
Ogungbo said the test is to be repeated every five years till the age of 75 years.
He, however, said with the high rates of colon cancer, if it’s found early enough, it is highly treatable, adding that Nigerians should not wait for the symptoms before consulting their doctor.