Health Tips to Prevent Colon Cancer
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Health Tips to Prevent Colon Cancer

Health Tips to prevent colon cancer.

Second only to lung cancer, colon cancer is the second biggest threat, stealing the lives of millions around the world.  The function of the colon or large intestine is to collect waste products of digestion and move them out of the body through the rectum.  Evidence shows that exposing this organ to large quantities of harmful substances or digestive wastes can lead to either benign pre-cancerous growths or malignant tumors in an otherwise healthy colon.

It is quite obvious that what you eat or do not eat is the key to preventing colon cancer.  Medical experts have noted that up to 80 percent of all cases are preventable.  Here are some tips that aids in preventing colon cancer.

  1. Consume more wheat bran: The lower you intake of dietary fiber, the higher the risk of colon cancer.  Studies have revealed that wheat bran may be the most effective colon cancer-preventing cereal fiber, because it aids in shielding the body from dangerous digestive by-products that pass through the colon and that may trigger cancerous cell mutations.
  2. Increase intake of fruits and vegetables:  Hundreds of scientific studies around the world have shown strong evidence that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of colon cancer. 
  3. Eat less meat:  People who consume red meat (beef, lamb, pork) five days a week are three times more likely to develop colon cancer than those who did not.  Broiled or fried meats may also be culprits since they may increase levels of mutagens, or substances that cause tumors.
  4. Add calcium and selenium to your diet:  Calcium has the same protective effect as fiber while selenium consumption can lower the risk of colon cancer.  Rich sources of calcium include dairy products such as skim milk and non-fat yogurt; green vegetables such as broccoli and mustard greens; and fish such as canned sardines and salmons with bones.  Best dietary sources of selenium include lobster, cooked oysters, clams, crabs and brazil nuts.  Please note that consuming excessive selenium-rich foods have a high potential for toxicity, so it would be prudent to seek medical advice first.
  5. Take walks often:  There is no doubt that physical exercise has innumerable benefits including cutting the risk of developing colon cancer by half for those who engaged in moderate to high-intensity exercise at least twice weekly, as many medical studies consistently show.  Exercise protects the colon against cancer by speeding up the time it takes for stool to pass through the bowels. Even half hour of cardiovascular exercises such as aerobics and dancing, or using an exercise machine a few times a week can be protective. 

A screening test known as sigmoidoscopy can not only detect but also prevent about 8 out of 10 cases of all cancers of the rectum and lower end of the colon.  The procedure involves insertion of an elastic, fiber-optic endoscope in the rectum and lower half of the colon.  The doctor looks for early-stage cancers, polyps, or any abnormal growths from which most colon cancers may develop.  Any detected polyps are then immediately removed, and their removal prevents them from progressing into full-blown colon cancer.

A more delicate and expensive test than the sigmoidoscopy is the colonoscopy, which requires one to prepare for the test by fasting overnight.  However, it is not normally covered by medical insurance, since the procedure poses a very slight risk of perforation of the colon.  But if there are visible rectal bleeding, or a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may bypass the fecal occult test and sigmoidoscopy and recommend a colonoscopy straightaway.

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Comments (3)

Thanks, voted. : )

Valuable information.

Excellent info, voted!