Colorectal cancer and other preventable cancers are on the rise in Barbados.
According to data from the Barbados National Registry (BNR), cancer of the colon and rectum, often grouped as colorectal cancer, is the third leading type of cancer globally and continues to be the case in Barbados as well. Additionally, it is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
The number of cases diagnosed locally rose from 124 in 2008 to 163 in 2015, the BNR disclosed in its report. Furthermore, there were 66 deaths from this type of cancer in 2008 and 98 deaths recorded in 2015.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggests that inactivity; lack of dietary fibre and whole grains; reduced calcium; insufficient fruit and dairy intake; increased consumption of red and processed meat, in addition to being overweight and consuming alcohol, increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
In Barbados, colon cancer occurs mostly in the 75 and older age group. Therefore, it is important that family members and caregivers are aware of the implications of diet choices, as well as the symptoms of colorectal cancer, says the BNR.
Persistent or a combination of symptoms, including loss of appetite, unexplained bloating, unexplained weight loss, change in bowel habits, and persistent abdominal discomfort are indicators that you or your family member should be assessed for colon cancer.
To download the Barbados National Registry report, persons may click here.