Chronic Disease

Colorectal Cancer


Colorectal Cancer


Colon and rectal cancer (Colorectal cancer) is considered as one of the most common cancer tumors in the world, as it ranked third among types of cancer recorded in terms of incidence rates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report for 2020. In The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it ranked second among types of cancer according to statistics of the Saudi National Cancer Registry issued by the Saudi Health Council for 2018, where the number of registered cases reached 1908 cases, or 12.2%, and it was also found that it is the first cancer in men and the third in women. The average age of infection was 60 years for men and 58 years for women. Scientific studies and research issued by specialized international centers have also confirmed the importance of early detection of colon cancer, and international institutions and bodies have recommended the use of the Fecal Immunohistochemical Test because of its high accuracy in diagnosis.

Definition of colorectal cancer
Colon cancer is a cancer that affects the large intestine (colon), which represents the lower part of the human digestive system, as well as the rectum, which is the last part of the digestive system. colorectal cancer infection increases after the age of fifty in both sexes, as 90% of colon cancer cases occur in those aged 45 or older.

How does colorectal cancer occur and what are polyps?
Most cases of colon and rectal cancer begin with a group of small, benign cells in the form of growths called polyps, which are benign, non-cancerous surface tumors that resemble a grape seed and form in the inner wall of the colon or rectum. These tumors usually grow slowly over 5 to 10 years, but with Over time, some of these polyps turn into cancerous tumors. For the sake of prevention, the patient resorts to early examination in order to find out the possibility of a tumor and its eradication.
The removal of superficial tumors has proven effective in preventing colorectal cancer, as these tumors are among the early stages of colorectal cancer, which are usually not accompanied by any symptoms at all, and this stage is considered one of the most curative stages.

Early symptoms of colon cancer
  • Feeling of not emptying the stomach completely when defecating
  • Bleeding from the anus or blood in the stool.
  • Abdominal disorders such as cramps, gas, or prolonged pain.
  • Constant feeling of wanting to go to the bathroom.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Severe anemia of unknown cause.
  • Weakness, tiresome and lack of appetite with deterioration of general health
These symptoms may occur as a result of several other diseases, and their presence does not necessarily mean cancer, but rather a doctor should be visited to diagnose the condition and provide treatment.

  Factors that may increase the risk of colorectal cancer:
  • The risk of infection increases with age after the age of 45 years.
  • Inflammatory bowel conditions: Inflammation of the intestine for a long time, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Having a family (or personal) history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Low-fiber, high-fat foods, red meat or processed meat
  • Lack of exercising activities
  • Diabetes and obesity

Tips to reduce the incidence of cancer:
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid obesity and maintain a normal weight.
  • Avoid exposure to harmful sunlight for long periods.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and healthy food rich in fiber.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Consult a doctor when any abnormal changes occur in the body.

Methods of Diagnosis:
  • Ask about the person's medical history as well as the family history.
  • Conduct virtual and local medical examinations.
  • Carry out one or more early detection tests.

Methods of Treatment:
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Colon cancer is one of the few diseases that can be effectively detected by:
  • Clinical examination by a physician.
  • Examination of the stool to see if there is blood in the stool or not (a test for hidden blood in the stool).
  • Endoscopic examination by a special telescope. (Partial or complete colonoscopy)
  • Radiographic examination (color CT scan).

Colon and rectal cancer early detection program in the Kingdom

The most important goals of early detection of colon cancer are:
  • Reducing the number and proportions of those infected with the disease
  • Increasing the success rates of treatment and recovery, by the willing of Allah
  • Reducing the number of deaths resulting from this disease.
  • Improving the quality and lifestyle of patients
Target Groups:
People with a moderate risk of infection:
  • Age (45-75 years) with no symptoms of the disease or a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
People with an increased risk of infection:
  • Having a family history or personal injury to colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Long-term inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Exposure to radiotherapy during childhood
  • Infection with a genetic disease such as familial adenomatous syndrome.

Types of screening available for early detection of colorectal cancer:
  • Fecal occult blood test (fecal immunochemical test - FIT) for people with moderate risk.
  • Colonoscopy for people with increased risk and positive results in a fecal immunochemical test (FIT)

Test Conditions:
  • A Saudi National
  • Age from 45-75 years

How to take a stool sample for immunohistochemistry (FIT)
Contraindications for a fecal immunohistochemical test (FIT)
  • Hemorrhagic hemorrhoids (having bleeding from hemorrhoids)
  • Women's menstrual period
  • Presence of urinary tract infections (presence of blood or pus in the urine).

Colon and rectal cancer screening periodicity:
It varies according to severity of the injury, as follows:
Immunological stool examination:
Target group: People with moderate risk of age (45-75 years)
The result:
Negative: The test is repeated once a year
Positive: Referred for a total colonoscopy.


Target group:
  • High risk persons
  • Those with the result Positive for Immunological stool examination.
The Result:
Negative: The test is repeated:
  • Those with moderate risk: Once every ten years.
  • High risk: Determined by the doctor according to the existing risk factor.

Positive: Referred for treatment

Service locations:
The early detection of colorectal cancer service is available in primary healthcare centers and hospitals in different regions of the Kingdom, which can be accessed by booking an appointment through the Sehhaty application in the family medicine clinic or chronic diseases clinics (such as: diabetes, obesity, blood pressure) or other clinics, if you are within the target age group.

To download Sehhaty appclick here​

For further information:

Last Update : 16 August 2023 12:08 PM
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