Saturday, November 01, 2008

Colorectal Cancer

Cancer ranks third as the worlds most common cause of death. Among the many types of cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common and the number steadily increases because less focus is given to it compared to that of lung and breast cancer.

The good news is that it can be prevented. Here are some useful prevention tips to combat the disease:

  • A balanced diet - Diets high in fat and cholesterol, especially those coming from animal sources, as well as low fiber diets have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Even if one can eat steak and liver at every meal and stay trim, it can still increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer by virtue of what one is eating. So cut down on these types of food and you will lower your risks dramatically.
  • Lose those excess fats - Do you weigh more than you want? Obesity, defined as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 30, increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. An by reducing your body's excess fats, you will bring down the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Exercise - An unhealthy lifestyle of just sitting around and doing nothing increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The longer waste sits in the colon or rectum, the longer toxic materials have to leach out of the solidifying stool and back into tissues. Exercise gets things moving, not just the body, but also the waste in the body.
  • Avoid smoking - Researches indicate that 12 percent of fatal colorectal cancers may be attributable to smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer for two main reasons: First, inhaled or swallowed tobacco smoke transports carcinogens to the colon. Second, tobacco use appears to increase polyp size.
  • Take your vitamins daily - Some research suggests that taking a daily multivitamin containing folic acid can lower colorectal cancer risk. Taking calcium and Vitamin D may also work together to reduce colorectal cancer risk, as Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium. In addition, a recent study suggested that a diet high in magnesium may also reduce colorectal cancer risk in women.
  • Screening - One of the most powerful weapons in preventing colorectal cancer is regular colorectal cancer screening or testing. More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are 50 or older and the average age of diagnosis is 64. Research indicates that by age 50, one in four people has polyps. Most people have an excellent chance of preventing colorectal cancer if they get regular colon cancer screening. So visit your doctor regularly as detecting the cancer earlier makes it easier to cure.
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal medical history - Research indicates that women who’ve had breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Chronic inflammation of the bowel also increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Be sure to talk to your doctor about these as well as other important health ailments you might have developed.



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