Prevalence of colorectal cancer remains relatively low in Israel compared to other OECD nations

Despite relatively low rates, colorectal cancer kills 1,366 Israelis a year.

March 2, 2016 18:16
2 minute read.
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.

A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Although 1,366 Israelis died last year of colorectal cancer – the second most common malignancy in the country – Israel is a leader in the OECD in survival of this type, second for men and fourth for women.

The Israel Cancer Association, in coordination with the Health Ministry, announced this on Wednesday to open Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Abroad, the prevalence of colorectal cancer is rising among young people aged 20 to 49, while that among people over 50 is declining because of early detection programs. The American Cancer Association, for example, estimates that according to this trend, by 2030 the prevalence of the cancer in ages 20 to 34 will rise by 90 percent and in those aged 35 to 49 by 28%.

However, among Israelis aged 20 to 49, prevalence of colorectal cancer remains relatively low among Jewish and Arab males and females, without signs of an increase, the ICA said. It is organizing a free conference for patients and their families on colorectal cancer at its headquarters, 7 Revivim Street in Givatayim, on March 9.

According to Prof. Lital Keinan-Boker, deputy director of the ministry’s Center for Diseases Control and an adviser to the ICA, 3,224 cases of invasive colorectal cancer – 2,777 Jews and only 280 Arabs – were diagnosed in 2013. Some 5% of the population will at some time have colorectal cancer, she estimated.

The older the individual, the more common this kind of malignancy is. Other factors that have shown increased incidence of the malignancy are having had precancerous polyps; being overweight and inactive; smoking and drinking alcohol. But it can be diagnosed early in precancerous stages with a colonoscopy.

The ICA and the ministry set up a national program for early detection of colorectal cancer. In 2013, 57% of the relevant age group said they had undergone a (less-accurate) test for blood in the stools or a much more accurate and invasive colonoscopy in the last nine years.

Meanwhile, a small preliminary study recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition (which must be expanded to be sure) suggested that it is worthwhile eating dates, which lower the amount of ammonia in the stools and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Another interesting study, published in the American Journal of Medical Sciences showed a connection between polyps in the mucous layer of the uterus in women and the rate of precancerous polyps in their colon and rectum. Such women were five times more likely than women without uterine polyps to have colorectal polyps.

Based on foreign research, the ICA recommended that patients with colorectal cancer who undergo chemotherapy are best off doing regular exercise to reduce the amount of tiredness they feel.

Related Content

Zavitan River
August 15, 2018
Five hospitalized as fear of Leptospirosis outbreak grows