Muscat: As the world marks Colon cancer month, statistics show that it is growing globally in numbers, and Oman is no exception.
Figures indicate that breast and colon cancers are the most common types of cancer found in Oman, and their rise is linked to a sedentary lifestyle, which includes almost negligible physical activity and eating fast food.
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon or rectal cancer begins in the colon or the rectum. It is commonly found in people older than 50, but can affect younger people too, especially those with a family history of the disease and smokers. Colon and rectal cancer share similar features.
Very often colon cancer starts in the inner lining of the colon or rectum called a polyp, however not all polyps are cancerous.
According to the Health Grove website, the annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from colon and rectum cancer in Oman has increased by 17.2 per cent since 1990, reflecting an average of 0.7 per cent a year.
It further stated that for men, the deadliness of colon and rectum cancer in Oman peaks at 80 plus. It kills men at the lowest rate between the ages of 15 and 19.
At 53.1 deaths per 100,000 men in 2013, the peak mortality rate for men was higher than that of women, which was pegged at 42.1 per 100,000 women.
Women succumb at the highest rate to colon and rectum cancer in Oman at age 80 plus as well.
It is least deadly among women between the ages of 15 and 19, just like in men.
In terms of risk factors, dietary risks are the biggest threat, followed by low physical activity, high Body Mass Index, alcohol and drug use and usage of tobacco. These factors contributed to, and were thought to be responsible for an estimated 52.9 per cent of the total deaths caused by colon and rectum cancer in Oman in 2013.
It was previously reported that Oman recorded a 25 per cent jump in the number of cancer cases in 2011, compared with 2010, according to a report from the National Oncology Centre and the Ministry of Health (MoH).
The American Cancer Society recommends that a test for colorectal cancers should be done every five years and a colonoscopy test once every 10 years.