(MENAFN - Arab News) The Jeddah Health Affairs Department launched an awareness campaign about colon cancer and its dangers on Tuesday evening at Red Sea Mall in Jeddah.
A number of charities, medical associations and individuals joined the campaign to raise awareness about the disease in the Kingdom.
"We implemented this awareness campaign as part of a series of campaigns launched worldwide by several international associations. This campaign encourages people to carry out periodic checkups. Unfortunately, colon cancer symptoms are not obvious until it is usually too late," campaign organizer Usama Abo-Unk told Arab News.
Dr. Sami Badawood, director of Jeddah Health Affairs, confirmed it is very important that everyone knows the symptoms and how to recognize them. "Colon cancer is considered the second most common cancer after lung cancer, but this can be avoided if people know what causes this disease and how to stop it from spreading by undergoing regular tests for its detection," he said.
"Ninety percent of colon cancer cases are detected in people aged over 50. It is very difficult to explain why colon cancer happens, but mostly it's because of age. People above the age of 50 are more at risk and also lifestyles are a factor, especially those who are following a bad diet," he said.
According to Badawood, a person is more likely to suffer from colon cancer if a close relative has had it.
He also placed heavy emphasis on keeping fit and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle to reduce the risk of potentially developing colon cancer since overweight people are more at risk.
Official statistics released on colon cancer from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that men in the Kingdom are more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than women. "Once the patient reaches the age of 40, he should get periodical tests done every two years and then every year after 50," advised Badawood.
Nahla Ramadan, an Egyptian woman who joined the campaign, said her mother was suffering from colon cancer and she is afraid that she might be diagnosed with the disease as well. "I would like to know more about this disease and get checked every six months. I am 40 and I have to watch out for my health," she said.
The campaign will continue for four days. The campaign attracted a large number of youths as it coincides with the school vacation.