Colorectal Cancer in Malaysia Essay Sample
Colorectal cancer is an unfortunately common form of cancer, and one that many are unfamiliar with. For those not in the know, colorectal cancer refers to cancer in the colon or rectum. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States and has no known cure. However, survival rates can drastically improve when caught early on through screenings or during regular check-ups at a medical professional. Such screenings are highly recommended, especially for those over 50 years old or those with a family history of this type of cancer. Knowing more about this disease can help ensure your health and well-being for years to come.
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Discuss the prevalence of colorectal cancer both globally and in Malaysia, and the contributing factors to its incidence.
Colorectal cancer is an unfortunately common form of malignancy that affects much of the global population. Reported in 2018, it made up 8.1 million cases worldwide and caused 1.8 million deaths that same year according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The incidence of colorectal cancer increases with age; it tops the list among all cancers in Malaysia for those aged 60 and above. Yet, many cases are found in individuals even younger than that; a growing cause for concern amongst medical professionals.
Contributing factors to its occurrence range from lifestyle habits such as unhealthy diet or smoking, to a family history of cancer and other genetic disorders, to environmental influences such as low-fiber diets or high exposure to carcinogens like asbestos or diesel exhaust particles. Our knowledge continues to grow and we hope that understanding these risk factors can help us lower the prevalence of this potentially life-threatening condition.
Explain the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer occurs when malignant cells form within the lining of the colon or rectum. This condition is caused by a number of factors, including genetic predisposition, poor diet, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and physical inactivity. The malignant cells can spread to different organs in the body, affecting normal functioning.
Common clinical manifestations associated with colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding and blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain and cramping, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. Additionally, individuals may experience anemia due to chronic blood loss from their GI tract as well as other signs that may present differently depending on each individual’s diagnosis. It is important to heighten awareness around these symptoms because timely detection is imperative for successful treatment outcomes.
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Discuss the level of awareness and attitude about colorectal cancer, both locally and globally, and its implications.
Colorectal cancer is an increasingly prevalent global health challenge, and present levels of awareness and attitude about it both locally and internationally play a large role in its prevention and treatment. Because colorectal cancer can have asymptomatic stages, it is especially important for individuals to be attuned to their own bodies in order to detect anything irregular early on. Oftentimes, local governments take the initiative in providing health screenings and warnings to their citizens, however, there remains a certain level of complacency when it comes to the issue, particularly in less developed countries.
Educating populations on the importance of actively combating colorectal cancer then becomes an even more urgent task. While it can be presumptuous to assume that negative attitudes towards this issue are directly linked with misperceptions or lack thereof, proactive steps must still be taken worldwide if we are to make any sort of progress with regards to managing this particular illness.
Explain the treatment modalities available for the management of colorectal cancer and include some latest research data on its management.
Colorectal cancer is a great public health concern and there are several treatment modalities available for its management. Surgery is the cornerstone of colorectal cancer therapy and pre-operative chemotherapy or radiotherapy based on the individual clinical scenarios can be useful. Latest research data point to minimal resection, preserving surrounding tissue, and the use of minimally invasive surgery as a preferred method instead of extensive dissection or open abdominal surgery.
Adjuvant therapy post-operative has been found to significantly improve outcomes in those with high-risk features such as lymphovascular invasion; however, more studies are required to better understand this. In metastatic colorectal cancer, especially in cases where COVID-19 restrictions have prevented surgical intervention, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and chemotherapy have all played an important role in managing the condition.
Utilizing personalized approaches to treat colorectal cancer has shown value in prolonging life expectancy for patients who may not have responded to treatments prior when therapies were used without proper consideration for the genetic features of individuals. Ultimately, successful management of colorectal cancer requires individualized approaches taking into account factors such as patient age, existing comorbidities, tumor type/grade along with emerging therapeutic options in tune with evidence-based associated research data.
Discuss the role that nurses can play to manage and support patients with colorectal cancer to improve their quality of life.
Nurses play an integral role in managing and supporting patients with colorectal cancer to improve their quality of life. Nurses are knowledgeable advocates on the team, providing physical and emotional support to the patient and their families during treatment. They can work with the primary care provider to collect the necessary documentation needed for successful treatment outcomes, educate about preventive measures such as getting regular screenings, monitor for any potential mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, and communicate any change that is seen in a patient’s medical condition.
Furthermore, nurses can provide resources to help promote a healthier lifestyle including dietary modifications, improved stress management techniques, and physical activities which provide psychological benefits. Ultimately, by offering compassionate holistic care and fostering open dialogue between healthcare teams and patients, nurses help advance our understanding of the needs of this patient population, ultimately leading to improved lives.