(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) The UAE is on an improved awareness drive on the incidence of colorectal cancer, and one among the latest remedial procedures performed was a recent surgery on a 39-year-old woman patient.
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi performed keyhole surgery to save her life, after discovering she had a 5cm malignant tumour in her colon after she was hospitalised in Dubai with an unrelated stomach bug.
Her case highlights the importance of regular colon cancer screening, especially for patients with a family history of the disease, say doctors.
"One of the biggest problems with detecting it is that, unlike many other forms of cancer, colon cancer can be completely symptomless," said Dr Shafik Sidani, staff physician, colorectal surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. "We urge anyone with a strong family history of colon cancer, even if they are under the recommended screening age of 40 years, to visit their healthcare provider and get checked out for this disease."
As part of a series of tests, doctors used capsule endoscopy - a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera inside a vitamin-sized capsule to take pictures of the digestive tract. It revealed that Simran was bleeding from a tumour in her cecum, the point next to the appendix where the small intestine meets the large intestine.
After reviewing the results of her capsule endoscopy, Dr. Pascale Anglade, staff physician, gastroenterology and hepatology in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, suggested Simran have a full colonoscopy, including a biopsy of the tumour. This revealed that the tumour was malignant and measured around five centimeters.
"It was only then that I started to think about my own family history," explained Simran. "None of my immediate family had colon cancer, but I had an uncle and a cousin who had both been diagnosed with colon cancer at their younger ages."
Based on this evidence, the doctors diagnosed the patient with a condition called Lynch Syndrome, a genetic disorder that increases her risk of developing colon cancer and other cancers. Doctors estimate that around three out of every 100 colon cancers are caused by Lynch Syndrome.
The results also meant that the best course of action was to have a right hemi-colectomy - surgery to remove the part of her colon affected by the tumour. A right hemi-colectomy was done to remove between 10-12cm of Simran's large intestine.
"The patient was extremely fortunate that she managed to catch the tumour in its early stages and therefore was able to have it surgically removed without the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy," said Dr. Sidani.
This March, doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are promoting greater awareness of colorectal cancer during Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
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