The Israel Cancer Association (ICA) and the Ministry of Health announced the launch of the "Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2012", to be held in March in Israel, as in other countries around the world.
This month will feature diverse events to be held by the ICA, aimed at heightening public awareness of the disease, as well as promoting prevention and early detection.
Mrs. Miri Ziv, ICA Director General, indicated that "there has been a significant improvement in compliance rates to undergo screening tests, with rates reaching nearly 48% of the target population. It is imperative that this upward trend continue. The screening program has spurred improvement in early detection rates and has contributed to the decline in mortality rates. In order to reinforce this trend, it is important to increase compliance rates and adopt a healthy lifestyle, which helps lower the risk for contracting colorectal cancer, and in turn, helps prevent the disease".
ICA suggests the following practical tips for a healthy lifestyle:
Eat a healthy diet and adopt a physically active lifestyle. Reduce intake of high-calorie foods and beverages.
Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly those that have high fiber content, reduce red and high-fat processed meat consumption.
Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity.
Maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index).
Avoid excess weight gain at all ages.
Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health, delivered statistics on colorectal cancer in Israel:
It emerges that colorectal cancer incidence rates among the Jewish population in Israel have been stable over the past decade.
In contrast to the stability in incidence rates, a significant increase in early detection rates may be noted, and which may be credited to the National Early Detection Program, initiated by the Ministry of Health and the ICA, for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
Survival rates are a direct result of early detection and enhanced patient survival rates.
Survival rates in Israel exceed the mean of the data values for all OECD countries, where survival rates stood at 54.6% in 2002 and 59.9% in 2009.
Colorectal cancer mortality rates decreased by 28% over the past decade among men and by 21% among women.
No significant changes in mortality rates were noted among the Arab population, and they are similar to rates among the Jewish population. The highest mortality rates (9.9) are observed among Jewish males and the lowest rates (8.0) among Arab women.
The colorectal cancer mortality rates in Israel per 100 thousand are lower than the average mortality rates in 17 OECD countries (in comparison to 18.5).