Doctors in Delhi have expressed concern over rise in colorectal cancer rates, which affect India's fight against cancer.
"Commonly known as bowel cancer, this form of cancer malignant cells grow in the tissues of the colon or rectum leading to formation of tumors," Dinesh Chandra Doval of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center told IANS.
According to Doval, colorectal cancer usually occurs in people above the age of 50 years. Symptoms include blood in stool, changing bowel habits such as constipation, weight loss and fatigue.
"Though there are hereditary reasons for its occurrence, in India due to poor dietary habits and population becoming older, number of patients of colorectal cancer is increasing," Doval said talking to IANS on the sidelines of an educative program organized by European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in partnership with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Center.
"At early stage, CRC is curable through surgery, but at advanced stages it cannot be completely treated as it spreads to other organs as well, like liver," he elaborated.
The Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre acknowledged colorectal cancer as sixth most prevalent cancer in India.
Professor Eric Van Cutsem, head of the Digestive Oncology Department, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium, who was in the national capital to participate in the conference, said a multi-disciplinary approach is needed for treating this disease.
"Through a multi-disciplinary approach comprising of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy we can try to make patients live as long as possible," said Cutsem.
Last year, the Rajiv Gandhi Hospital diagnosed about 400 cases of colorectal cancer, of which 50 percent were in the advance stage.
"The more problematic aspect with this cancer is that due to low levels of awareness, about 40-50 percent cases are detected after they have reached the advanced stages," added Doval.