Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among adults in America.

If caught early there is a 90% survival rate, if caught in the later stages that rate goes down to 65% or lower.

Colon cancer can develop in the large intestines which are responsible for absorbing fluids and undigested foods passed on from the small intestines.

Colon cancer usually starts in the epithelial cells lining the colon, the result of either chemical injury or chronic inflammation. Polyps or small growths may develop at the site of that damage. There is one type of polyp called adenomas, this polyp is more susceptible to developing into cancer than the others. The other polyps will usually stay benign.

Recommended tests

Detection in the early stages of cancer is the key to survival. Other than any outwardly signs there are various tests that can be done.

It is recommended when you reach 50 years old that these tests begin.

  • A fecal occult blood test (to test for blood in the feces) annually if normal
  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years if norma
  • A colonoscopy (if normal, every 10 years)
  • A barium enema every 5 to 10 years if normal
  • A digital rectal exam at the same time the sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or barium enema is performed (up to 10 percent of tumors can be detected by this low-tech test).

If there is a family history of colon cancer or polyps of course your doctor will suggest a different cycle of tests to fit your history.

Prevention and nutrition

Here are a few tips about foods to and not to eat.

  • Read Meat - due to the chemicals found in beef meat this can increase your risk of developing colon cancer. This risk increases as you age because of digestion issues.
  • Vegetables - especially the green leafy vegetables. This is not a big secret, but this needs to be reemphasized because it does lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Fiber - (from beans to whole grains to fruit). Although recent studies have not been conclusive, especially when it comes to primary prevention of colon cancer, most physicians, researchers and nutritionists are still recommending a largely plant-based diet with lots of fiber.
  • Alcohol - always on the list is alcohol. Studies suggest that the more alcohol you drink the higher your risk of colon cancer. This also does harm to your liver.
  • Green Tea - green tea in general is an anti-oxidant and aids in lowering your risks of many forms of cancer.
  • Multivitamin - especially one that contains folic acid and vitamin D.
  • Blood sugar and insulin levels - insulin resistance, especially when linked to excessive abdominal body fat is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.
  • Carbohydrates - eat balanced meals and watch your intake of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), especially those with a high glycemic index.
Digestion is a big issue with the colon. Eating late at night, hurried eating and over eating all contribute to over loading your colon system.

These are changes to your habits that you can control and these changes could save you a lot of pain and suffering down the road.

Other Related Sources:

Colon detoxification
Colon cleansing
How to care for your colon
Signs of colon problems

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