Background: Colorectal carcinoma is a deadly disease but preventable and highly curable if detected in its early stage. Patients who develop colorectal carcinoma have certain risk factors that predispose them to such condition. These risk factors include age, previous history of colorectal cancer and polyps, family history and smoking history. Colonoscopy, a tool that allows the detection and removal of premalignant lesions throughout the colon and rectum, is recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology as the preferred colorectal cancer screening strategy
Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective cross sectional study involving a chart review of adult patients above 18 years old who presented with colorectal mass on colonoscopy and histopathology showing colorectal carcinoma and admitted at BGHMC from January 1,2008 to December 31, 2012.In a review of the compilation of colonoscopy results from the computer database of BGHMC Gastroenterology Division and whose charts were retrieved from the BGHMC Medical Record Section, this study included a total of 125 patients. Data collection was done using a standard data gathering form.
Results: Of the125 patients analyzed; there were 56% males and 44% females. The mean age is 58±12.2 years, majority(72%) were >50 years old. 19% had previous history of colorectal carcinoma while 45.6% had a family history; 54.4% were smokers. The most common presenting symptom of colorectal carcinoma is abdominal pain(90.4%) followed by weight loss (84.8%), change in bowel movement(76.8%) and gastrointestinal bleeding(68.8%). Clinically, anemia is the most common presenting sign(72.8%) correlated to a positive fecal occult blood test which is a sensitive test of colonic blood loss. Patients with bleeding present with fatigue, angina and weight loss.
Conclusion: This study defined the clinical profile of an adult with colorectal carcinoma showing a typical male patient with a smoking history, initially presenting with abdominal pain, weight loss, change in bowel movement and gastrointestinal bleeding. Age is a risk factor for colorectal carcinoma Older aged patients (>50 years old) are more likely to develop colorectal carcinoma. Colonoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool for earlier detection of colorectal cancer and should be started at the age of 50 years old and every 5 or 10 years thereafter.