In Argentina, more than 15,000 cases are diagnosed per year

“1,500 people die per day from colon cancer in the world, Argentina is among the countries with the highest incidence of colon cancer,” stressed the renowned specialist in dialogue with Luis Mino in the program Now I come.

Developed countries, the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and others in Europe are the most affected. In Latin America, Argentina and Uruguay are the most affected.

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“In Argentina, more than 15,000 cases are diagnosed per year and there are more than 7,500 deaths from colon cancer.“Imhoff explained.

The importance of this disease is that it is a preventable cancer, the greatest number of deaths could be prevented and cured if it is detected in early stages.

Colon cancer affects both men and women, in both cases a colonoscopy is performed. He scriningwhich is the age group with the highest risk of suffering from the disease, is those over 50 years of age.

“The study should be done in any asymptomatic patient, in the general population of average risk. “Everything depends on health policies, everything that can be invested in this is very important,” explained Imhoff. As an example, he stressed that in the United States, colonoscopies are indicated from the age of 40.

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Dr. Hugo Javier Imhoff, specialist in general surgery and digestive endoscopy, a reference in the region and the country, visited the AIRE studies.

Maiquel Torcatt / Aire Digital

The age of preventive studies has decreased in recent decades as a result of the incidence. Although the risk begins at age 50, because aging is a risk factor, this pathology was detected under 40 years of age.

“We have very young patients with colon cancer, not only 40 years old, but 30 or 20 years old,” stressed the specialist.

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In this scenario, cost-effective measures are evaluated; the important thing is to reach the population with the highest risk of suffering from colon cancer. The population with the highest risk is over the age of 50, and all less than 30% of the risk group undergo a study at some point in their life to detect the disease,” the doctor confirmed.

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“We have very young patients with colon cancer, not only 40 years old, but 30 or 20 years old,” stressed Dr. Imhoff.

Maiquel Torcatt / Aire Digital

There are different risk groups when it comes to colon cancer, the problem is that there are genetic risk factors. “If both parents have a history, the children have to undergo studies before the age of 50,” Imhoff explained in relation to the importance of paying attention to first-degree relatives.

In addition, he clarified that there are genetic syndromes in which the study must be carried out from an early age. Inflammatory diseases are also important risk factors.

Colon cancer has a high mortality rate, what is the most common symptom

Although it is a cancer that can be prevented and cured, it is usually diagnosed in advanced stages. “For this reason, instead of having a low mortality, the percentage is very high. Colon cancer in mortality, the second in frequency, followed by lung cancer, which is very aggressive,” he explained.

When colon cancer gives symptoms, the most important is bleeding in the fecal matter or through the rectum, without fecal matter, mixed or dark blood. This is often confused with hemorrhoids. Therefore, it is relevant to do studies.

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March 31 is the day to fight colon cancer.

March 31 is the day to fight colon cancer.


“I talk about prevention in the asymptomatic population, because this begins with a lesion that produces abnormal cells inside the colon or rectum. Something that was previously known as polyps, there are lesions that are flat,” explained the specialist in around the symptoms of colon cancer.

There are two groups of polyps, adenomas and serratus polyps. The latter were detected in the last ten years and affect the right colon.

Quality colonoscopy maintains that the examination must reveal the entire intestine, that the examination has been complete and that all the organs involved can be observed.

“That is fundamental, another fundamental thing is a dependent operator practice. It is important that the doctor who performs it has experience in performing colonoscopies. In my personal case, I have done more than 90 thousand. I have been a doctor for 25 years and 22 that I do this type of studies,” explained the renowned specialist.

The doctor’s role is to look for the polyp, the flat lesion that will transform into cancer. “The more polyps the doctor detects, the better the colonoscopy is, because there they can be removed and prevented,” Imhoff listed. Today, technology allows us to enlarge images and detect minimal lesions, preventing cancer.

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure, it lasts 15 minutes and can save lives. “People have modesty, fear and that is what needs to be taken out of people. Today the preparation is done hours before,” the doctor explained.

The procedure is outpatient, the patient undergoes the study that lasts between 15 to 20 minutes. “In total he will be in the sanatorium for an hour. The patient does not feel anything,” the doctor stressed.

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Maiquel Torcatt / Aire Digital

The frequency of the study will depend on what was found in the index colonoscopy. International guidelines speak of a periodicity of ten years, however, there are patients who, with normal colonoscopies, can develop cancer in less time. “It is the best method, but it is not perfect and depends on factors such as a quality study,” Imhoff stressed.

Primary prevention is essential to avoid colon cancer or any other type of cancer. This depends on each person’s dietary hygiene measures and lifestyle.

A risk factor is excessive consumption of saturated fats, that is, red meat. Added to this list: obesity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

The doctor recommended following a diet based on the consumption of fiber, fruits, dairy products, vegetables and vitamin D to prevent the disease. “Physical activity is essential for all people,” stressed the specialist.

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