Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon) which is the final part of the digestive tract. It is also known as Colorectal cancer.
Sadly, colon cancer which usually affects adults typically, has adjusted the age range. It affects people that are younger and this is a source of concern.
According to a 2009 research, there is a similar incidence rates for cancer of the colon in both male and female.
Globally, colon cancer accounts for over 9% of all cancer incidence.
It is the third most common cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of death.
Fortunately, Nigeria is not one of the countries with the highest incidence rates. However, this does not mean that caution should be thrown in the wind.
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe are top countries with cases of colon cancer.
The countries with the lowest risk include China, India, and parts of Africa and South America. Could this be as a result of their diet?
1. Where Is Colon Cancer?
This form of cancer is in the colon and the colon is also called the large intestine.
The ileum (last part of the small intestine) connects to the cecum (first part of the colon) in the lower right abdomen.
2. What Is The Cause Of Colon Cancer?
Colorectal cancer forms when the DNA in cells in the colon or rectum act differently from the way they should.
They develop mutations that may make them unable to control growth and division.
In many cases, these mutated cells die or are attacked by the immune system.
Sadly, some mutated cells may escape the immune system and grow out of control. These mutated cells go ahead to form a tumor in the colon or rectum.
Although, the main cause of this mutation that leads to colon cancer is not known, certain risk factors are strongly linked to the disease.
They are; diet, tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol use.
Also, people with certain hereditary cancer syndromes or a family history of colorectal cancer have a high risk of developing the disease.
3. Who Is At Risk
According to the 2009 research, the likelihood of colorectal cancer diagnosis increases after the age of 40.
It rises sharply after age 50.
More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in people aged 50 or older.
However, since lifestyle could also play a role, younger persons are, increasingly, getting colon cancer.
There are indications that inherited genes, shared environmental factors or a combination of these influences may increase an individual’s colon cancer risks.
According to the Cancer Center, “African Americans have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States.
“Ashkenazi Jews also have a higher risk of developing the disease”.
Sadly some other medical conditions increase an individual’s risk of having colon cancer.
People who are obese and diabetic are prone to this cancer, according to the Cancer Center. This may not be unconnected with the findings that tumours feed on sugar.
4. What Are The Symptoms?
At the early stages of colorectal cancer, there may be minor symptoms or none at all.
Symptoms may not develop until the disease has progressed into the second stage. Since most cancers in the colon develop from polyps, there is need for screening.
This will reveal if they are there and they could be removed early to stop them from growing into cancer.
Meanwhile, early warning signs may include sudden weight loss and/or narrow, ribbon-like stools, rectal bleeding, either bright or dark red in color, narrow stools, tenesmus, which is the feeling that you have to empty your bowel but nothing passes, anemia caused by iron deficiency and persistent abdominal pain.
However, note that these could also be symptoms of other less serious conditions that are not colon cancer.
This emphasises the need for diagnosis.
5. What Is The Diagnosis
When it is obvious that there is colon cancer, proper treatment plan could be developed. This is the reason diagnosis is important.
To find out what treatment plans a patient needs, physicians could recommend; lab tests, endoscopic procedures, biopsies, CT scan, MRI, PET/CT Scan, Ultrasound and Barium Enema.
6. What Is The Treatment For Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer can be treated in several ways – surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy.
However, there are also indications that herbal medicine could also help in treatment of the cancer.
A 2014 study showed that a combination of PAM+V (Pan-Asian medicine + vitamins) with conventional therapy improved survival, compared with conventional therapy alone.
According to the research this outcome suggests that prospective trials combining PAM+V with conventional therapy are justified.
7. Prevention And Natural Colon Cleansing Remedies
While further research is required to ascertain the potency of natural remedies for treatment of this cancer, prevention is also a good thing to try.
It is better to prevent the occurrence of this cancer than to treat it.
One of the ways it could be prevented is by cleaning the colon.
Since lifestyle plays a role in increasing risk of colon cancer, adjusting lifestyle ultimately lowers the risk of getting the cancer.
To cleanse the colon regularly, certain foods have been recommended. Fibre rich foods, which are great for your colon are available in our shop.
Drink Water Consciously
Some persons find it hard to just go and take water and drink. Those who do more of sedentary life are mostly on this table.
Water is great for your colon, since it helps in digestion of fibre and foods that you eat.
Drinking water helps proper cleansing of the colon. Make it a habit to drink water always.
Dark cruciferous vegetables are great for colon cleansing and this is because they are high in fibre, low in fat and calories.
They also contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Exceptionally, they contain antioxidants that cleans the system.
You can add spinach, kale, cabbage and curriflower to your diet as often as you can and cleans your colon.
Chai And Flaxseeds
Chia and flax seeds are great for colon cleansing and that is because they are also high in fibre.
They contain Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the colon. This also helps in removing of toxins that may have built-up in the colon.
You can add them to your meals. Interestingly, they could be chewed raw or added to your fruit or vegetable juice when blending them.
Please, find different ways of adding them to your diet and apply.
Apple Cider Vinegar And Honey
This one is full of healthy bacteria for your stomach.
You can add this to your water in the morning and add honey to it.
Also, apples are rich in fibre and contain pectin which assists in removing toxins and building a stronger intestinal lining.
This is one of the citrus fruits that are exceptionally good for your intestines.
Basically, lemon are good at detoxification, as they act as an antiseptic, reducing waste matter build-up.
Lemon also hinder the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Eat Whole Grains
There is a decrease in the amount of whole grain foods people consume. One of the most consumed meals in Nigeria is white rice and this is not so beneficial to the body.
Consciously adding foods like brown rice, red rice, red kidney beans, oats to our diets will provide the colon enough fibre needed for cleansing.
Limit Red Meat Intake
As an individual advances in age, the digestion of red meat in the intestine slows down. It is important that every adult cut down intake of red meat, as research has also shown that it increases chances of this cancer.
Really, eating a lot of red and processed meat could increase your risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer.
It is recommended that people who eat more than 90 grams of cooked weight of processed meat per day cut down.
For adults we recommend a gradual exclusion of red meat from your diet. Eat more of scale fish.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are often tilting to consumption of western meals.
Indeed, this could result in more health issues in future.
Despite the fact that prevalence of this form of cancer is low here, eating more of whole grain is necessary to aid cleansing of the colon and reduce risk.
Kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones to enable them know more about colon cancer.
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