One more year colorectal cancer is again the most diagnosed in Spain with 42,800 cases (men and women), according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries. Despite the prevention campaigns, “which fortunately are permeating the Spanish population, there is still a lot to be done, both by public administrations and by specialists in this pathology”, explains the Dr. Gonzalo Guerramedical director and head of the general and digestive surgery service of the Digestive Diseases Medical-Surgical Center, the first high-resolution specialized in digestive pathology that opened its doors in our country.
Endogenous factors, such as heredity and genetic predisposition, and exogenous factors such as ignorance of the symptoms, fear of tests and the diagnosis itselfdiets rich in fats, refined sugars and ultra-processed foods, as well as a sedentary lifestyle, are some of the causes for the annual increase of this type of digestive cancer.
In addition, its treatment is a great challenge for professionals because sometimes tumors can be located in a complex area that is difficult to access, surrounded by other important organs. In general, colorectal cancer is one of the most complex of the digestive tract. That is why classic interventions are no longer the only ones that exist to treat it. The introduction of robots in the operating room and new techniques have constituted a breakthrough that has contributed decisively to raising cure rates.
Robotic surgery and the TAMIS technique: less invasive, more precise
As colorectal cancer diagnoses are increasing, so are its cure rates. Currently, more than 90% of affected patients are completely cured in early stages, according to the AECC, both due to advances in surgical techniques and cancer treatments.
“The laparoscopic approach is currently the most widely used for the treatment of colon cancer. However, the robotic surgery and the TAMIS technique (minimally invasive transanal surgery), allow surgeons to address the tumors located in difficult-to-reach locations and with greater precision and with fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and less painful postoperative periods”, explains Dr. Gonzalo Guerra.
Robotic surgery for colorectal cancer allows a 3D visualization of the tumor area. In addition, the robotic arms are very flexible, so they can rotate in any direction, accessing places that are difficult for the human hand to access, so it becomes a totally precise procedure and the risk of colostomy is also reduced.
The TAMIS technique, for its part, manages to access rectal tumors endoscopically through the anus, thus no type of surgical incision is necessary for removal of the cancerous lesion, so the risk of colostomy is also minimal. “It is indicated for precancerous or cancerous lesions in early stages that cannot be removed by colonoscopy. In addition, we select it in those cases in which the patient has a very narrow pelvis or is obese,” adds the CMED medical director.
Attention: prevention is the best weapon against colorectal cancer
Regular visits to the specialist continue to be essential to avoid this type of cancer. 95% of colorectal cancers originate from a polypso the realization of a colonoscopy it becomes the most effective way to avoid this type of cancer.
“It must be done all healthy people from the age of 50, as well as from the age of 40 if there is a family history or if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In these 3 cases it must be repeated every 5 years. If you have polyps, the frequency varies as negative results appear,” emphasizes Dr. Guerra.
On the other hand, it must avoid sedentary lifestyle and obesity; alcohol and tobacco; as well as eating an unhealthy diet, in which saturated fats, red meat, ultra-processed foods and refined flours and sugars prevail.