Colorectal cancer cases on the rise

National 1 minute, 32 seconds


COLORECTAL cancer cases are increasing among males and females in Brunei, with some affecting those who are in their 20s.

Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, specialist oncologist at the Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) said this on the sidelines of a public health forum held recently at the Health Promotion Centre.

According to him, lung cancer used to be the most common cancer among local males, but colorectal cancer is now a close contender.

Dato Dr Babu said there were some cases of colon cancers being diagnosed at the ages of 20 to 25 in the sultanate in recent years.

“And that’s very young. It’s not very common, but the cases are there.

“People used to be 45, 50 or even 60 years old before they had this type of cancer,” he said.

The specialist oncologist attributed the rise in colorectal cancer to modern lifestyle changes, particularly diets.

“It’s probably because younger people are consuming more red meat, processed foods, food from cans, ready-to-eat meals.

“We don’t eat so much fresh vegetables or fruits, we tend to go for burgers and hot dogs,” Dato Dr Babu said.

Dato Dr Babu said much of the meat consumed today also came from animals which were fed with processed food too.

“In olden days, meat was kampong chicken and free-roaming cattle but now all chickens are in cages and in farms and given processed food.

“Cows are not given their grass, they’re given things to fatten them up, and naturally all this is coming back to us,” he explained.

Besides red meat and processed foods, smoking was also a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer, he said.

According to data collected by the Brunei Darussalam Cancer Registry, there were 295 cases of colorectal cancer among Bruneian males from 2004 to 2013, and 233 cases of colorectal cancer for females.

The Brunei Times