Colon Polyps / Cancer
Cancer of the colon ranks as a second major cancer, after lung cancer in the United States. Colon cancer is also one of the most curable forms of cancer and also is preventable. Colon cancer starts as a polyp which is a growth in the lining of colon. If this polyps can be detected early and removed then colon cancer can be easily be prevented.
Heredity and genes, smoking and alcohol abuse, red meat, especially smoked one in excess amounts and chronic inflammatory condition of colon such as ulcerative colitis are main risk factors for development of colon cancer. Familial polyposis is a genetic condition which can lead to colon cancer in very young individuals.
Some times polyps contain very small cancer and it can be cured with colon polyp surgery. Colon cancer once diagnosed requires surgical resection of affected part of colon after deciding that there is no spread of the disease in the liver. Colon cancer chemotherapy and some times radiation may be required to treat advanced stages of colon cancer.
Prevention of colon polyps/cancer starts with the screening test by colonoscopy exam. A person has a greater risk of developing polyps/cancer if his/her parents or siblings have the disease. The risk is less if a person’s grandparents, uncles or aunts had the polyps/cancer. Therefore, if you have a family history of colon polyps or cancer then you must get yourself screened through colonoscopy.
Colon polyps/cancer can also be prevented by adopting some changes in the diet. There are certain fruits and vegetables (red, orange, green and yellow colored) such as strawberries, carrots, oranges and peppers that are rich in antioxidants and help in preventing polyps/cancer. There are some vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts that contain high levels of natural chemicals that fight cancer and therefore, recommended for the treatment of colon polyps. It is being observed that people who include these fruits and vegetables in their diet along with unprocessed grains develop the colon cancer very rarely. According to a study conducted in 1999, a group of nurses has been studied who had given folic acid or folate for over 14 years period. It had observed that folic acid seemed to be much protective for these nurses especially those who’d been given more than 400 micrograms per day either through food or multivitamin. So, it was concluded that folic acid or folate may also help in preventing colon cancer.
Meat is rich in saturated fats and the digestive juices along with bile break down these saturated fats through a process while it has been observed in laboratory animals that the byproducts of this process can cause cancer in them. There is also evidence that the diets rich in meat may increase the risk of developing breast cancer and probably colon cancer too. Here, the level of risk depends on how the meat is cooked, for example, smoked red meat can largely associate with the colon cancer. So, it has been concluded that a diet that is reduced in meat and saturated fats help to improve the health of the colon.
According to the studies conducted in the 1960s and 1970s, a relation has been concluded between fiber rich diet and reduced rate of colon cancer in the rural Africans. But, at that time, it was still hoped that fiber may help in reducing the risk of developing colon cancer and for this reason, a research has been conducted by studying a large group of nurses who had been given around 25 grams of fiber per day and they showed a little to no change in developing polyps/cancer. This is only one research and a wide range of positive health benefits of fiber can’t be overlooked, so fiber rich foods are still highly recommended by the specialists.
Calcium is known to be an essential nutrient for strengthening the bones and for many chemical processes occurring in the human body. Some animal studies has found that a lack of calcium cause excessive growth of cells in the colon. But, it is still not clear whether calcium can benefit humans in preventing cancer. However, as it is an essential nutrient to our body in so many different ways so we should all include calcium in our diet and the adults should take 1000 mg of it per day.
In some medical studies, it has found that Aspirin may reduce the occurrence of colon cancer. There is a hormone-like substance in the human body called as prostaglandin that may promote the abnormal or excessive cell growth in the large intestine (colon). Aspirin interferes with this substance that helps in the treatment for cancerous colon polyps. There are some side effects of Aspirin such as it may cause some stomach ulcers, severe bleeding, hemorrhage or stroke so a doctor’s prescription is necessary before taking it.
For more information about colon polyps/cancer, visit our specialist at Riverdale NJ.