The case of colon cancer -A 27-year-old man presented with complaints of severe diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and weight loss for few months affecting significantly his professional and social life. He had no history of colon cancer in his family. He had visited a few doctors in other hospitals in the city and was reassured that his symptoms could be related to his stressful life and received medications without much relief. After careful evaluation, we performed some routine investigations including Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) which tested positive. The patient underwent colonoscopy examination which revealed a cancerous polyp in his sigmoid colon.
Polyps are abnormal growths of colon cells that lead to colon cancers. Almost ALL colon cancers start as polyps that grow bigger and bigger and eventually develop into cancers. However, not all polyps will become cancers. Therefore, every time a doctor diagnoses a polyp during the colonoscopy, these polyps are removed and examined by the Pathologists to find evidence of cancer. Our patient had his polyp removed. Indeed, the Pathologist identified cancer cells in the polyp. The patient was offered a CT scan and his case was discussed at our hospital’s Tumor Board meeting (a panel of expert doctors in management of cancer cases and make the appropriate recommendations in the management of each case) where it was assessed that the cancer cells had not spread beyond the polyp, so the patient was cleared and offered a complete cure of his cancer. He was advised to have regular follow-up visits and also advised to inform all 1st degree relatives to have a colonoscopy since colon cancer has a strong hereditary tendency.
Colon cancer is rare in such young individuals (chance to develop colon cancer in the next 5 years of life in a patient in 30’s is 1 in 7000 vs 1 in 65 in 70-year-old ( average age of diagnosis of colon cancer).During the past decades worldwide, there is a reduction in the number of the patient diagnosed with colon cancer ( up to 35%) mainly due to colon cancer screening programs. At Saudi German Hospital in Dubai we have a dedicated team of doctors and nurses working in an Endoscopy unit equipped with all modern facilities and instruments to perform screening colonoscopies and manage even the most complex cases of Gastrointestinal diseases.