Studies have revealed that consumption of Kpomo, smoked fish and other assorted meats are major risk factors for colorectal cancer (colon cancer).
Consumers of assorted meat parts which include kpomo, shaki, ifun, abodi, roundabout, and its other forms have been cautioned to minimize the rate and quantity of intake.
These meat parts are risk factors for cancer because of the way they are prepared, given that they tend to produce harmful substances that can cause cancer. The problem with smoked fish is the toxic substance produced by the smoke.
This was revealed in Lagos, by Dr. Adedapo Osinowo, the Chief Medical Personnel of Niola Cancer Care Foundation, who stressed that such fatty meals should be consumed in moderation for good health, adding that the key factor is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables to increase antioxidants in the body.
Other risk factors for colon cancer include; increase in age, family history, diets lacking fruits and vegetables, obesity, alcohol, sedimentary lifestyle among others.
Statistics reveal that colorectal cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world and accounts for over nine per cent of all cancer incidences. It is the third most common cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of death affecting men and women almost equally.
Reiterating that ‘moderation is key,’ Osinowo advised that all fatty meals should be eaten in moderation and not on a regular basis but consumption of fruits and vegetables would however, reduce the risk of cancer.
He expressed worry that colon cancer is a silent disease, he urged people to stay away from alcohol consumption and smoking because smoking is associated to all cancers and diseases. Lifestyle is also a problem but fortunately, all the risk factors are preventable, since one can do something about them, he added.
On the dangers of colon cancer, Osinowo explained that when cases are picked up early, the cost of treatment is usually small and the outcome is more efficacious than when the disease is advanced. When cases are picked up late, little or nothing can be done, and under such cases, patients do not last up to five years as prognosis is very poor.
Osinowo further warned that people should never trivialize blood in the stool. He urged Nigerians to monitor their stools and to seek help if they cannot pass stool normally without using purgatives or are having constipation. He said colon cancer can be prevented if it is picked at the polyps stage.
Further buttressing the points, the founder of Niola Cancer Care Foundation, Mrs. Eniola Salu expressed worries over wrong diagnosis of colon cancer and disclosed that the Foundation was set up to alleviate the plight of cancer patients in Nigeria in terms of education, awareness creation, treatment, care and support.
She explained that the Foundation was set up in honour of her husband, adding that people can actually survive colorectal cancer if diagnosis is accurate and made early, unlike in the case of her husband.
Salu expressed concern that colon cancer patients were not given adequate attention like other cancers such as cervical and breast cancer. She said younger people as early as 14 years are now coming down with colon cancer, and 50 per cent of the cases are as a result of sedimentary lifestyles, hence the need for a change.