Consumers of ponmo, shaki, ifun, abodi, roundabout, and other forms of orisi-risi (assorted) meat parts including smoked fish, have been cautioned to minimise the rate and quantity of intake as these meat products have been identified as risk factors for colorectal cancer (colon cancer).
Studies have shown that colorectal cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world and it accounts for over nine per cent of all cancer incidences. It is the third most common cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of death affecting men and women almost equally.
Giving the warning in Lagos, the Chief Medical Personnel, Niola Cancer Care Foundation, Dr. Adedapo Osinowo said such fatty meals should be consumed in moderation for the good health of all.
Dr. Osinowo who spoke during the formal launch of Niola Cancer Care Foundation, explained that there was a link between consumption of these meat parts and increased risk of colon cancer, noting that consumption of fruits and vegetables would reduce risk of cancer.
Moderation is key
“All fatty meals should be eaten in moderation but if you eat these assorted meats every day, I am sad for you. You can eat them but not every day. Abodi is the rectum and shaki is the stomach. Ponmo is a risk factor for cancer too.
“These parts are risk factors for cancer because of the way they are prepared, they tend to produce harmful substances that can cause cancer. Their preparation is responsible for this. What is important is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to increase antioxidants in the body.”
Furthermore, Dr. Osinowo warned against the consumption of smoked fish, saying the problem is the toxic substance produced by the smoke. He listed other risk factors for colon cancer to include; increase in age, family history, diets lacking fruits and vegetables, obesity, alcohol, sedimentary life style among others.
Expressing worry that colon cancer is a silent disease, he advised that people should stay away from alcohol consumption and smoking. “Smoking is associated to all cancers and disease. Lifestyle is also a problem but fortunately, all the risk factors are preventable, that is, you can do something about them.
On the dangers of colon cancer, he explained that when cases are picked up early the cost of treatment is usually small and outcome is more efficacious than when the disease is advanced. When cases are picked up late, little or nothing can be done, and under such cases patients do not last up to five years as prognosis is very poor.
On ways to mitigate risk factors of colon cancer, he warned that people should never trivialise blood in the stool. He urged Nigerians to monitor their stools, and to seek help if they cannot pass stool normally without using purgatives or are having constipation. “When you feel the urge of passing stool and nothing is coming out you have to check it and find out if there is any tumour there.” Osinowo said colon cancer can be prevented if it is picked at the polyps stage.
Speaking, the Founder, Niola Cancer Care Foundation, Mrs. Eniola Salu worried over wrong diagnosis of colon cancer said the Foundation was set up to alleviate the plight of cancer patients in Nigeria in terms of education, awareness creation, treatment, care and support. She explained that the Foundation was set up in honour of her husband noted that people can actually survive colorectal cancer if diagnosis is accurate and made early unlike in the case of her husband.
She expressed concern that colon cancer patients were not given adequate attention like other cancers such as cervical and breast cancer. Noting that younger people as early as 14 years are now coming down with colon cancer, she said 50 per cent of the cases of the disease is as a result of sedimentary lifestyle, hence the need for a change.
She said it was only with proper information on colon cancer that Nigerians would be encouraged to screen for the disorder. The Foundation plans to build six world class cancer screening centres in the six geopolitical zones of the country to facilitate accurate and early detection of cancers in the country.
By Chioma Obinna