Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors in Gaza Governorates

Haya Nabeel S. Al Rayes
هيا نبيل الريس
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Al-Quds University
Background: Colorectal cancer is one of the top five cancers in the Palestinian society. Risk or protection factors of the disease vary between genetics and environmental factors which involve nutritional and lifestyle behaviors. Aim: The study was conducted to identify the most common risk factors that may be associated with colorectal cancer among the population Gaza Governorates. Design and methods: A case control study involved 66 registered colorectal cancer patients from Al Shifa and Gaza European hospitals matched (for age, sex and locality) with two controls for each case. Controls were chosen from the primary health care centers. An interviewed questionnaire was used to compare between cases and controls in relation to the socioeconomic factors, family history, chronic diseases, dietary habits, lifestyles, supplementations, medications, health education and screening. To examine statistical significance OR with 95% confidence interval besides, Chi square test were calculated; P value <0.05 was considered as significant. Results: Risk of colorectal has been increased with: lower income level OR=6.5(2.39-18.29), lower level of education OR=2.53(0.91- 7.1), some types of professions OR=3.42(1.49-7.93), family history OR=4.2 (1.35-13.54), chronic bowel disturbances OR=42.8(15.5- 124.7), eating fried fish OR=6.6(1.77-29.08), preferring to eat red meat OR=2.1(1.1-4.0) and poor health knowledge OR=2.38(1.17- 4.86). Protection from colorectal cancer was obtained with regular intake of fruits OR=0.3(0.09-.98), cereals OR=0.5(0.26- 0.96), bran bread OR=0.44(0.21- 0.94), besides preferring to eat vegetables OR=0.51(0.24-1.0), calcium supplementation intake OR=0.36(0.13- 0.91), and attending of health educational lectures about healthy nutrition and life styles OR=0.51(0.25- 1.0). Colorectal cancer screening tests were only performed for the diagnosis of the disease rather than being used for the screening purpose. No evidence of relation was associated with other chronic diseases, other types of food, life styles and supplementations. Conclusion: Risk was found with: family history, chronic bowel disturbances, socioeconomic factors, some food, and poor health knowledge, while protection was associated with of some other food, calcium. Recommendations to improve the community health education provide suitable related screening programs; improve cancer patients' registry and the encouragement of further related studies.