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Colon cancer

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Addressing colon cancer symptoms, colon cancer causes & colon cancer treatment
Colon cancer is also known as rectal cancer or colorectal cancer and if caught early, it is often curable. Colon cancer is more common in people over 50, and the risk increases with age.
Please consult your doctor if any of the following symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks:
  • A change in your regular bowel habits, including bouts of diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
  • Narrow, watery-thin stools
  • Blood in your stool, or rectal bleeding
  • Extended periods of abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Unexplained weight loss
    At A Glance - Colon Cancer
    Colon cancer symptoms
    Colon cancer causes
    Colon cancer risk factors
    Nutrition for patients with colon cancer
    When to seek medical testing for colon cancer
    Links to more information on colon cancer
  • Polyps - growths inside the colon and rectum that may become cancerous
  • A diet that is high in fat
  • A family history or personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
    Colon cancer generally grows slowly. It can develop anywhere along the wall of the large intestine, which includes the colon and the rectum. Colon cancer usually begins as a tiny polyp or raised clump of non-cancerous (benign) cells growing on the inner lining of the large intestine.
    Polyps are growths of tissue arising from the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Not all polyps become cancerous, but nearly all colon cancers start out as polyps. They may be mushroom shaped or flat. Large and flat polyps are more likely to become cancerous (malignant).
    When colorectal cancer spreads outside the colon or rectum, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes. If cancer cells have reached these nodes, they may also have spread to other lymph nodes or other organs. Colorectal cancer cells most often spread to the liver.
    Reference: National Cancer Institute
  • Age - 50 or older
  • Family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps. - a parent or sibling has had the disease.
  • A diet that is high in fat, and is low in fiber diet appears to increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. If you're inactive, you're somewhat more likely to develop colon cancer.
  • Smoking. Smoking increases your risk of developing colon cancer and is associated with a younger age at diagnosis.
  • Diabetes. Having diabetes increases your likelihood of developing colon cancer. It also increases your chances of dying of the cancer.
  • Alcohol use. Heavy intake of alcohol increases your risk of developing colon cancer and is associated with a younger age at diagnosis.
  • Ashkenazi ancestry. Colon cancer may occur at a higher than average rate among Jews of Eastern European
  • Sex. Recent studies suggest men were more likely to have larger polyps at a younger age than were women.
    If you are high risk for getting colon cancer, then you should get screened regularly for precancerous polyps and colon cancer.
    How can I prevent polyps - Colon cancer treatment
    There is no sure way to prevent polyps, but to lower your risk of getting them:
  • Eat more servings of fruits and vegetables and less high calorie fatty food
  • Don't smoke
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise daily
  • Lose weight if you're overweight or obese, even 10% reduction is beneficial
  • Eat adequate calcium and folate which can help lower your risk of getting polyps.
  • Foods rich in calcium – low fat milk, low fat cheese, and broccoli.
  • Foods rich in folate - chickpeas, kidney beans, and spinach.
    High-fiber diets also offer a measure of protection. Fiber greatly speeds the passage of food through the colon, effectively removing carcinogens. Fiber also affects the kind of bacteria that are present in the intestine, so there is reduced production of carcinogenic secondary bile acids. Fiber also absorbs and dilutes bile acids. (Vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, also lower the risk of colon cancer.)
    1. If you have a strong family history of Colon Cancer.
    2. If you develop any of the following symptoms which can include blood in the stool, narrower stools, a change in bowel habits and general stomach discomfort. However, you may not have symptoms at first, so screening is important. Everyone who is 50 or older should be screened for colorectal cancer. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination.
    The NutritionVista team of dietitians can help you assess your needs if you have colon cancer and create a menu plan that suits your personal health requirements and personal likes and dislikes.
    They can also guide you in eating right to help prevent colon cancer.

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