People in developed countries, especially in the West, are highly prone to suffer from colorectal cancer or bowel cancer that starts either in colon (large intestine) or rectum, a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found.
According to a CNN report, the bowel cancer cases are expected to jump by 60 percent to 2.2 million in 2030 from 1.4 million in 2012. This form of cancer may claim more than 1.1 million lives by 2030.
The Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that 134,784 people were diagnosed of the colorectal cancer in the U.S., which is the third most common type of cancer globally. It also led to the death of 51,516 Americans in 2012.
The study blames poor lifestyle choices prevalent in the West, including bad diet, less physical activity, excessive smoking and drinking as the key contributors to colorectal cancer. As a country develops, rates of this type of cancer also increase, the study found.
"Colorectal cancer is the clearest marker of societal and economic transition," Melina Arnold, cancer epidemiologist, IARC was quoted as saying by the CNN. Arnold's team studied the rates of bowel cancer across all levels of the Human Development Index (HDI) in 184 countries.
The study found higher the HDI of a country, increased are its rate of bowel cancer. The rate of bowel cancer in countries with a very high HDI was six times more on average than countries with a low HDI. However, Arnold said low and middle-income countries that have undergone rapid economic development as China, Russia and Brazil are also prone to bowel cancer.
Men were likely to be more prone to colorectal cancer than women, as were those who consume red meat. "Excessive consumption of red meat, associated with poor lifestyle habits, helps develop this cancer. People who tend to eat the most red meat are likely to be more overweight and are less active," Amanda Cross, assistant head of the Cancer Screening and Prevention Group at Imperial College London, was quoted by the CNN as saying.
Early detection of bowel cancer is considered a key for the survival of patients. "Bowel cancer is a slow growing disease and the symptoms only develop at a later stage. Ninety percent of people would survive five years if diagnosed early," Christian Von Wagner, an epidemiologist at University College London (UCL), said.
The symptoms of bowel or colorectal cancer include blood in faeces, pain in the abdomen or back passage, or lumps in the region.