Colorectal cancer: “It’s essential that people realise that this is a preventable, treatable and surmountable disease”

in – 05 March, 2024

The Portuguese Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SPED) will be promoting a national campaign to raise awareness of Colorectal Cancer, a very common type of cancer that ranks first in terms of mortality. Under the theme “In Colorectal Cancer, screening tests can save lives”, the initiative comes as part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is taking place during the month of March on the Society’s social media, with the aim of alerting the Portuguese to the importance of carrying out endoscopic examinations to prevent or diagnose Colorectal Cancer at an early stage.

“Colorectal cancer is a common disease that is often silent and can be fatal. In Portugal, it is the second most common cancer in women, after breast cancer, and the second most common in men, after prostate cancer, taking first place in terms of mortality. Colonoscopy prevents it by removing the polyps that cause it, and allows for an early diagnosis that can save lives,” warns Susana Lopes, president of SPED.

Also adds: “It’s essential that people realise that this is a preventable, treatable and surmountable disease. In addition to medical examinations, it’s important to reinforce the need to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle, since tobacco and alcohol consumption, low physical activity, a reduced-fibre diet and obesity are known risk factors for developing Colorectal Cancer.”

At an early stage, colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms, which emphasises the importance of screening tests. When the disease does cause symptoms, the most common are: loss of blood in the stool; prolonged change in the usual pattern of how your bowel function; abdominal pain; fatigue; unexplained weight loss. Find out more at