advertisement



Health Centers


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Colon Cancer

colon

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is now the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American adults. The five-year relative survival rate is 90 percent for those who have found and treated the cancer at an early stage. But for those cases in which the cancer has spread, the rate goes down to 65 percent or lower.

Colon cancer develops in the region of the gastrointestinal tract called the large intestine or large bowel. The colon represents the main portion of the large intestine, and is responsible for absorbing water and electrolytes from the undigested food matter passed on from the small intestine. It also serves as a storage area for waste material. Colon cancer is believed to be initiated by damage to 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. One type of polyp, called adenomas, may develop into cancer over time. Other polyps are benign.

Recommended Lifestyle Changes

Early detection is key to winning the cancer battle. Once you reach the age of 50, the following tests should be done routinely:
1. A fecal occult blood test (to test for blood in the feces) annually if normal
2. A flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years if normal, or
3. A colonoscopy (if normal, every 10 years), or
4. A barium enema every 5 to 10 years if normal and
5. 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).

Screenings should be done earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer or polyps.

Nutrition and Supplements

  • Eat very little, if any, red meat. Regular consumption of red meat results in an increased risk of developing colon cancer compared to eating no red meat at all.
  • Eat generous amounts of vegetables. Green leafy vegetables, especially, have been linked to lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Eat plenty of fiber from a variety of foods (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.
  • Limit alcohol. Studies suggest that the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of colon cancer.
  • Make green tea your beverage of choice. Green tea consumption is linked with lower incidence of many kinds of cancer.
  • Consider taking aspirin therapy. Research suggests that taking a daily low-dose aspirin over a period of years can cut colon cancer risk by as much as half.
  • Take a multivitamin containing folic acid and vitamin D.
  • Keep blood sugar and insulin levels low. Insulin resistance, especially when linked to excessive abdominal body fat, is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.
  • Eat small, balanced meals frequently and watch your intake of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), especially those with a high glycemic index.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here