Battling colon cancer can be a long one, especially with little or no first-hand knowledge of what it really is. Also known as colorectal cancer, colon cancer affects the colon or large intestine and is known across the world as a leading cause of death in developing countries.
For some patients, it first starts as a simple stomach ache, which many mistake for typhoid. Then, for some people, it seems to have gone away for a while before resurfacing after a few weeks or months as a stiffer, more painful stomach ache.
This is the point where many health professionals noted that it may be best for individuals who feel this to visit the hospital for a check-up and begin treatment and management.
But, over time, many medical professionals have complained about the lack of early presentation in the hospital when it comes to colon or colorectal cancer. Most individuals dismiss it as mere stomach aches. In some developing countries, where information is scarce, it is referred to as ‘a moving object’.
This is because the bowels, during colon cancer, begin to move in ways that feel like there is an object in them. Many men and women around the world today battle colon cancer in ways and forms that they do not understand. This, according to research, cannot be disconnected from their diets. With late detection and screening, the prognosis may be difficult.
This is why the slogan in cancer campaigns has been ‘Prevention is better, safer, and much cheaper than cure’.
What Is Colon Cancer?
Public health physicians have defined colon cancer as a type of cancer that most people are oblivious to. Some people cannot understand how cancer can affect the intestines and other organs in the stomach, adding that colon cancer has been shown to be on the rise lately.
Mayo Clinic, an online resource, stated that colon cancer, also known as cancer of the colon or rectum, or colorectal cancer, often occurs at the digestive tract’s lower end.
Early cases always begin as non-cancerous polyps or growths that may or may not cause discomfort in the stomach.
These polyps, which often have no symptoms, are only detectable during screening. For this reason, doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 40. Some even say people with colon cancer in their families should begin screening at 30 and continue at least twice every year, or once every quarter, to be safer.
Colorectal cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of the cancer. One can notice a sudden or gradual change in bowel movements or habits. Sometimes, there is a change in feces consistency. There may be a presence of blood in the fecal matter, which is accompanied by a lot of abdominal discomfort.
Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location, and how far the cancer has spread. Common treatments include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Your Diet And Colon Cancer
One of the risk factors is diet. Diet the world over has really changed. Gone are the days when foods were mostly fresh and many preferred vegetables to canned foods, which are mostly filled with additives and preservatives.
Most people, especially children, have developed a sweet tooth. They do not want to eat their veggies, exercise by taking short or long walks to school or places of worship, or visit a playground.
There is a serious decline in the quality of the diet one finds. The world has now moved to faster foods like processed noodles, pasta, canned tomatoes, mayonnaise, and butter. While these foods are not necessarily evil, they contribute to our risk of developing colon cancer or any type of cancer.
Since these foods are not natural and have almost nothing to do with being fresh, they have a reduced chance of giving our bodies the necessary nutrients they are supposed to give. Some have also been identified as having some cancerous substances, which have been seen as contributing factors to most cancers, especially colon cancer, which concerns the stomach.
Does Losing Weight Help Colon Cancer?
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, managing one’s diet may be the first way to prevent colon cancer.
For overweight or obese persons, weight loss is an important first step in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer development or recurrence, as these may cause one to have higher levels of blood insulin and related hormones that may appear to encourage cancer growth.
Best Foods For Colon Cancer Prevention
To prevent colon cancer, plan-based, high-fiber diets and a low or complete cut-off of red meat are essential. Processed meats and alcohol should be minimized and ultimately cut off to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Eat more vegetables like salad greens, fresh tomatoes, onions, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, and the like.
Berries like apples, melons, oranges, pears, bananas, and other whole fruits have also been identified to carry antibodies that prevent the body from developing any kind of cancer.
Eating more whole grains like beans, oats, quinoa, black rice, barley, faro, wild rice, lentils, and the like can also reduce one’s cancer risks.
Eating less beef, lamb, and pork is also a good way to start living healthy.
According to research, alcohol turns into cancer-causing compounds in the body. These compounds can also damage the cell lining of the colon.
Avoid alcohol totally, but if you choose to drink, limit it to just one drink (12 oz. of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 oz. of liquor) per day.