How to Treat Colorectal Cancer

Cancer of the colon and rectum kills 60,000 people each year, making it the third highest deadly cancer in the United States. This is particularly tragic since early treatment can cure 70 to 90 percent of colorectal can­cers. If you are over 40; have a family history of colon or colorectal cancer; suffer from other colon or bowel disor­ders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, colon polyps, or colitis; or have a diet high in animal fat and low in fiber, you have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Conduct a home test. If you are in the high risk category for developing colorectal cancer, experts recommend testing your stool for blood at least every two years. Your doctor can provide you with a test kit and instructions. Make sure you under­stand and follow them exactly. Studies show this method of early detection reduces colorectal can­cer deaths significantly.

Colorectal Cancer

The long-range plan for colorectal cancer

Regular checkups with your doctor are one of your best detection tools, but there are several dietary adjust­ments you can make to aid you in your fight against col­orectal cancer.

  • Increase your calcium. Vitamin D-fortified calcium products seem to inhibit colon cancer, perhaps by protecting the lining of your colon
  • Increase your water-insoluble fiber. This kind of fiber will not dissolve in water, which is helpful in speeding the movement of cancer-causing ele­ments through your colon. Foods such as brown rice, legumes, seeds, wheat bran, and whole grains are high in water-insoluble fiber.
  • Eat your vegetables. Crucifer vegetables, like cab­bage, broccoli, watercress, white and red radishes, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, increase the amount of tumor-inhibiting enzymes your body produces.
  • Pick a fruit. Apples, pears, strawberries, plums, and tangerines are high in pectin, a fruit fiber that’s even better for you than bran.
  • Add an amino acid. Methionine is a nutrient that battles colon cancer. It is found in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, oat flakes, granola, cheese, milk, and eggs.
  • Take an aspirin, or two, or three. A recent medical study shows it takes 10 years of regular aspirin use (four to six tablets per week) to significantly reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. Consult your doctor.
  • Avoid a high fat, high protein, low fiber diet. All these food components work against your body’s natural cancer defenses. For example, a diet high in fat sets a perfect environment for the develop­ment of cancer by increasing the amount of bile acids in your colon. These bile acids, which are necessary for the digestion of fats, promote tumors. It would be impossible to list all foods and their impact on colorectal cancer, but you can make sensible decisions based on a couple of guidelines. First, divide foods into two groups: animal products and plant products. Within the animal product group, you have meat and dairy products, which contain protein and other nutri­ents as well as fat. Fruits, vegetables, and grain products are highest in fiber and vitamins. Of course, there are healthy and unhealthy food selections within all groups, but usually the more natural the food is, the healthier it is for you.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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