Colon or colorectal cancer is the fourth mos common diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and from 2005 to 2011, the rate of of survival is 64.9 percent according to the statistics. In the U.K., there were 41,855 cases reported back in 2012 and 16,187 deaths affecting 57 percent of men and 54 percent of women based on Cancer Research UK stats.
These statistics are alarming and scary. The stats mentioned are not the latest, but if you check the up-to-date stats here, it’s pretty scary. Colorectal cancer is the fourth in terms of diagnosed cases, but when it comes to death, it’s second.
What Causes Colorectal Cancer?
There are many studies that link obesity to colon cancer. As a matter of fact, the American Cancer Society recognized it, and having a colon cancer screening has been recommended for prevention purposes.
One research conducted back in 2008 seemed to have discovered the clear link as to why obesity causes colorectal cancer. This study was the first ever to established a genetic link between risk of colon cancer and obesity. The researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who conducted the study was hopeful that this could lead to better accuracy in terms of testing.
When the research was done and published, researchers are hoping that their efforts can help prevent and lower the risk of colon cancer through activities and lifestyle changes that have been proven to solve obesity problems including regular physical activity, losing weight and maintaining it at a healthy level, and healthy eating. And, speaking of healthy eating, a recent report just a few months ago back in October 2015 revealed processed meats can cause colon cancer.
Moreover, one study in 2012 looked at the link between inactivity or sedentary to non-communicable diseases like breast and colon cancers, and researchers found that physical activity plays a huge role for preventing such diseases and maintaining good health. Of course, the equation won’t be complete without the clean eating and healthy lifestyle.
Some Good News
If the previous research successfully established a genetic link between colon cancer and obesity, recently scientists were able to establish a biological link that obese individuals have 50 percent greater risk of developing colorectal cancer due to excessive fat and carbohydrate intake. Although the study was done on mouse, scientists were able to pinpoint a specific hormone called Guanylin that is turned-off when excessive fats and carbohydrates are present.
It appears that the guanylin hormone receptor acts as a growth-controlling tumor suppressor. Without the hormone, the receptor is silenced from the early stages of this cancer. This causes the epithelium to become dysfunctional and sets up the conditions for cancer development. –Source
And, as usual, the conclusion by researchers just as with many studies, researchers recommend further future investigations. However, researchers said the drug linaclotide could be use to prevent colon cancer. The FDA approved this drug in 2012 as a treatment for IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) and constipation. The good news, researchers also showed that by simply restricting calorie intake, and I assumed it’s from refined carbohydrates from highly processed foods including processed meats as mentioned earlier.
On the other hand, there are conflicting studies regarding the benefit of reducing colon cancer though high fiber intake. Here are two studies(1,2) that didn’t find significance of fiber intake to lowering colon cancer risk. In contrast to these studies findings, there are two studies that found the importance of high fiber intake particularly this study that found fibers from cereal didn’t make any difference. However, fiber sourced from vegetables provide strong significance. And, here’s another study that found that fiber from whole grains are helpful.
Vitamin C As Part Of Cancer Treatment
You’ve read it right! Your regular daily dose of vitamin C supplementation plays an important role for cancer treatment. A Cornell University study just last November 2015 found high dosage of vitamin C can kill certain kinds of colon cancer cells, and although the study didn’t find it can kill all cancer cells in the colon, and only done on mice, this is very promising. In fact, scientists were hopeful that one day, the potent effect of vitamin C can be use to develop targeted treatments.
The used of vitamin C cancer treatment has been advocated by Andrew Saul, Ph.D, also known as the MegaVitamin Man. In his website, he has a list of research that used vitamin C as part of treatment for major diseases including cancer. Here’s what Andrew Saul say about Vitamin C on cancer. This clip is part of the documentary Food Matters, which you can rent or buy from Amazon. It’s a documentary full of information when it comes to staying healthy. It’s well worth the time to watch it.
Tips To Naturally Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Now, we’ve come to a point where we want to prevent something from happening like colon cancer. Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to naturally prevent colon cancer, and health experts agree that there’s no better way than prevention. So, why not do the potential actions in order to minimize or even completely avoid colon cancer from happening. According to one study back in April 2015 found that coffee consumption is helpful.
Inactivity or being sedentary that is associated with excessive hours of sitting has also been linked to cancers and many other diseases. The good news, we can easily reverse it by engaging on regular physical activity or exercise like doing cardio, high-intensity interval training, strength or resistance training that’s also helpful for muscle development and bone health. Perhaps doing mindfulness or meditation and Yoga can be just as helpful.
Sugar is also one of the main concern, and although the Colorectal Cancer 2011 Report suggest foods containing sugars have limited evidence to cause colon cancer, there are good reasons to minimize sugar consumption particularly on products containing high concentration of sugar.
And, what about sex hormones? One study looked at sex hormones in both men and women whether it has connection to colon cancer. So far, scientists found little on the link between sex hormone levels and colorectal cancer risk in men. And, on women, scientists found reduced risk of colon cancer incidence among postmenopausal women with higher circulating levels of estrone and estradiol.
Here’s a quick recap on how to avoid colon cancer and maintain a lifetime of good health.
- Eat a wide variety of whole foods like fruits and vegetable. Always prefer organically grown and produced, but if it’s difficult on your area to find fresh organic produced, non-organic is fine as long as you wash them well before eating. An effective way of removing chemicals like pesticides and herbicides from fresh produced is to soak and wash them on a water with either of the following; white or apple cider vinegar, salt, or baking soda. Soak your fruits and veggies in water mixed with any of these for 15 to 30 minutes and wash them thoroughly in running water before cooking or eating.
- Quit smoking. There are many good reasons to quit smoking.
- Exercise regularly. I think it was the late Jack LaLanne who said that inactivity or sedentary is hurting people. That’s why he teach people how to stay active even while sitting.
- Aim to maintain ideal weight because as we’ve covered on this article, obesity and even if you’re not obese, being overweight is not good and safe either. Try to maintain a healthy weight. It’s not really difficult once you get used to the habit of eating healthy, and working out on a regular basis.