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The slogan of Y2023 World Cancer Day is ‘Never ignore or normalise changes in the functions of your digestive tract (throat, tummy, bowel and anus)’.
It is no longer news that there is a rise in the number of colorectal cancer cases in Nigeria. Worrisomely, a greater proportion of these patients present with advanced or late disease which means they would require surgical operation and chemotherapy.
March is colorectal cancer month, the awareness gap on Colorectal cancer in Nigeria is still very wide, the gap can be bridged by consistent education.

Why do patients present late?

We owe to it ourselves and family not to ignore any of these symptoms. It is our personal responsibility to ensure that if anyone has any of the underlisted manifestations (red flags), they present to a medical doctor and be carefully evaluated. This evaluation would include a colonoscopy and a computerised tomography (CT ) scan of the abdomen

Patients present late because most people attribute these manifestations (symptoms) to non-cancerous conditions like pile or “jedi jedi” in local parlance or ulcer. Others would attribute these manifestations to aging or menopause. In a nutshell these manifestations are either played down, normalised, or ignored outrightly.

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