Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - Dr Matthew Wireko, Medical Director of the Gastrointestinal Diseases and Endoscopy Centre, has called on Ghanaians to undergo regular medical check-ups to know their health status.
He said when diseases are detected early it could be better treated and also cost effective.
Dr Wireko was speaking at a Public Lecture in Accra on the topic ‘Colonoscopy, Colon Capsule Endoscopy and Colonoscopy’’ organised by the Accra College of Medicine on Wednesday.
He said Bowel Cancer which was the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men and the fourth among women in West Africa, affects the colon or the large bowels and rectum and usually grows very slowly over a period of up to 10 years before spreading to other parts of the body.
Dr Wireko who is also a consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, said the symptoms can be difficult to detect and may not necessarily make the patient feel ill.
When caught early, He said the chances of surviving are good, the Medical Director said, adding that about 90 per cent of localised cancer (cancer that is completely contained within an area) and patients survived at least five years according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Programme (SEER).
Dr Wireko noted that once the cancer affects other organs the cure rate depends on the kind of therapies adopted.
He said bowel cancer risk is increased by smoking, eating red and processed meat and also drinking alcohol and being obese.
‘These risks can be addressed through diet and lifestyle changes, he stated, adding that with certain diseases such as type two diabetes, digestive system cancers and inflammatory bowel diseases are prone to developing bowel cancer, Dr Wireko added.
He advised Ghanaians to engage in regular physical activities in order to reduce the risk of the disease.