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Colorectal cancer: symptoms, causes

and screening for Mars Bleu 2023

dépistage cancer colorectal

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in France, which is curable if detected early. Let's be actors together in its prevention and screening, and take advantage of Blue Mars 2023 to communicate around us

Key figures for colorectal cancer in France

Nothing like statistics to suggest cancer. Precisely, the figures for colorectal cancer are very eloquent.
Less than 30% of the population is screened each year
Colorectal cancer accounts for 43,336 new cases per year and 17,117 deaths per year (2018 data via Santé Publique France). Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people at risk are getting tested year after year. In 2019-2020, barely 29% of the population over 50 and under 74 took a screening test. This figure has been steadily declining for five years. (Source figures: Public Health)
Colon cancer affects women as much as men
Women are slightly less affected than men by colon cancer, up to 47% against 53% for men. It is therefore not an exclusively male cancer, everyone is concerned. In women, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer, after breast cancer. In men, it is the third most common cancer, after prostate cancer and lung cancer.

Colon cancer is the 2nd deadliest cancer in France in men…

… and the 3rd deadliest cancer in France among women. It sends shivers down the spine, but the following data is even more edifying:

Both men and women have a 9 out of 10 chance of being cured of colorectal cancer if detected early.

These numbers mean that if caught early enough with regular screening, then colon and rectal cancer can be brought under control.
dépistage mars bleu
mars bleu dépistage cancer colorectal medisur

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

With the numbers in mind, let's see how colon cancer manifests and how to avoid it as much as possible.

How does colorectal cancer develop?

Colorectal cancer develops from polyps present in the colon or rectum. Polyps, or adenomas, are initially benign tumours, which can eventually turn into malignant tumours. The transformation is slow and can last 10 years, which mainly depends on the type of adenoma and its size. Overall, 2 to 3% of these adenomatous polyps become cancerous.

Colon cancer risk factors

Not everyone is equal when it comes to cancer. Some people have predispositions related to their personal or family history. Age is first and foremost the first risk factor. 9 out of 10 people who develop colon and rectal cancer are over 50 years old. The presence of polyps in the colon also predisposes to the disease. Inflammatory diseases of the colon such as Crohn's disease for example, or genetic pathologies such as Lynche syndrome, promote the development of colorectal cancer. Other risk factors can be reduced with the active participation of the people concerned, because the main cause of colorectal cancer is an unhealthy lifestyle. We then understand that eating fatty foods and a lot of red meat, smoking, drinking alcohol and not playing sports constitute fertile ground for the development of cancerous cells.

3 warning signs of colorectal cancer

The most common symptoms that may indicate colon cancer are:

  • constipation interspersed with diarrhea
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
Other symptoms may appear such as jaundice, enlarged liver, swollen lymph nodes and overall poor general health.

Colon cancer screening

The goal of colorectal cancer screening is to detect the presence of polyps in the colon and then remove them. Simple and painless, the screening test is easily carried out at home, in five minutes. It consists of looking for the presence of blood in the stool. It is advisable to carry out the test once every two years after the age of 50. If colorectal cancer has a very good chance of being cured if it is taken care of early enough, it is still necessary to be screened. However, despite the health prevention plan implemented in France, fewer and fewer people are screened each year.

We are mobilizing for Blue Mars 2023

Mars Bleu is colorectal cancer prevention and screening month in France. The name “Blue March” echoes Pink October for breast cancer. For Mars Bleu 2023, Medisur is mobilizing and supporting health players in pharmacies and in business. The goal ? Make people talk ever louder about colorectal cancer, raise public awareness.

Dépistage du cancer colorectal tous les deux ans | MEDISUR
Mars Bleu cancer colorectale entreprise | MEDISUR
Blue March in business
Screening in companies stems from the importance given to the Quality of Life at Work. A company that cares about the health of its employees can only see benefits: out of 1000 people diagnosed with cancer per day, 400 work; with an estimated cost of €9,000 for the 120 days off work, people with cancer cost companies dearly; in terms of sick leave but not only: recruitment, training and salary of the replacement person, employer compensation.

Numbers: cancer@work

Medisur supports companies in setting up health prevention plans for employees, on the occasion of March 2022 and throughout the year elsewhere. Depending on the size and needs of the company, this support takes the form of awareness days, workshops and conferences led by health professionals, or even webinars.

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Blue March for healthcare professionals
General practitioners, private nurses, occupational health doctors and pharmacies are the main players in Mars Bleu. In direct contact with the patients, they are the ones who will be able to provide them with the screening self-tests to be carried out at home. Medisur supports healthcare professionals by providing them with colorectal self-tests. Our self-tests detect the presence of blood in the stool in five minutes; reliable at 99.1%, they detect hemoglobin up to 50 ng/ml of faeces.