Cancer of the colon is a statistical probability that many in western countries may have to face. Also known as colorectal and large bowel cancer, it is the third commonest form of cancer. There is a diagnostic incidence of approximately 100 a day in the United Kingdom. In 2008, over 100,000 colonic cancers were diagnosed in the US. Sufferers are predominantly from the developed world.
The survival rate for colon cancer, currently approximating 50%, improves with early diagnosis. Although the mortality rate has decreased in recent years, probably due to better colon screening programmes that have allowed early detection and timely treatment, it remains high enough to warrant consideration as a dangerous threat to longevity.
Cancer is the process and consequence of cells dividing and multiplying uncontrollably and at a faster than normal rate. The mass of tissue formed by the growth and collection of those abnormal cells is known as a tumour.
A tumour that enlarges but stays in one place is referred to as benign.
When those cells begin and continue to invade surrounding organs or break away from their original site to spread to other organs via the blood and lymph systems and grow in the same uncontrollable way, the tumour is then categorized as malignant. This process of abnormal cell propagation is known as metastasis. Malignant tumours are very often seriously life-threatening, causing death, sometimes very soon after diagnosis.
Screening and prevention are crucial in the drive to reduce colorectal cancer mortality rates. Tumours have metastasized in one fifth of cases at the time of diagnosis.
Signs and symptoms.
Blood and mucus in the stools.
Persistent diarrhea or constipation.
Unexplained abdominal pain or swelling.
Although there may be other causes for the above signs and symptoms, it would be sensible to seek medical advice to elucidate causality.
There is a statistical age correlation. 80% of cases are in the 60 + group.
It is generally believed that diet plays a contributory role in bowel cancer. For example, research has indicated that excessive consumption of red meat may increase the chance of developing colon cancer. When inside the bowels, a pigment that colours red meat breaks down into chemicals that can damage the DNA in cells lining the intestinal tract. Those damaged cells may then proliferate in a way that causes the formation of tumours. On the other hand, a diet consisting of oily fish, fruits, vegetables and fibre-rich foodstuff reduces the likelihood of developing colon cancer.
Heavy smoking and alcohol-drinking are also thought to be possible causes.
Obesity and being overweight are among the suspected culprits.
Those from a family with a history of bowel cancer and having previously suffered from polyps seem to fall in the higher risk group.
Lack of exercising appears to be linked to the incidence of the disease.
Inflammation of the lining of the intestinal tract is suspected of predisposing it to carcinoma. Conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease may increase the risk of developing bowel cancer.
Colon cancer is treated by:-
o surgery – the most used method,
o chemotherapy – a post-surgical and palliative option and
o radiotherapy – in selected cases
The results from screening programmes to facilitate early detection have been encouraging. There is an 80% chance of treatment being successful when the disease is discovered early. The risk of fatality is reduced by 16% by having regular bowel checks. The U.K’s National Bowel Screening Programme, started in 2006, aims to offer all those in the at-risk age-group a Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test by 2009.
Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are other detection and diagnostic tools that should be promptly considered when there is the slightest concern about the healthy functions of the bowel, particularly if any of the above signs and symptoms is experienced.
Preventing cancer from starting in the first place clearly has to be high on the list of priorities.
We can all make a very significant contribution to reducing the risks of becoming a victim of colon cancer. Thus, starting a healthier diet, taking up exercise, paying attention to our weight and waist line, reviewing drinking and smoking habits are steps that we can action. The sooner they are considered and practiced, the lesser the risks of succumbing to carcinoma of the bowel.
It has been said that death starts with an unhealthy colon.
A colon that is not evacuating properly becomes impacted with decaying matter. Harmful toxins accumulate in the bowels and are absorbed into the blood stream. Parasite infestation, infection, inflammation, ulceration and cancerous tumours are other possible developments within a dysfunctional colon.
A healthy colon is absolutely essential to prevent ailments that may create a medium for the development of cancer. Inflammation of the lining of the intestines has been linked to tumour formation.
Colon cleansing is therefore certainly worth including in a preventative plan for good colonic and general health.
Used by the Egyptians over a millennium ago, colon cleansing is still valued today as a detox treatment that rids the colon of toxins that can be absorbed in the blood stream, parasites that can infest and attack the lining of the intestinal tract, mucus that can have pathogenic effects and decomposing matter that has overstayed within its walls causing constipation.
Colon cleansing, as well as contributing to the prevention of bowel cancer, may also be beneficial to constipation, diarrhea, weight loss, effective peristalsis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diverticulitis, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, halitosis, hypertension, cholesterol control, auto-intoxication, sinus problems, backache, headaches, fatigue, hemorrhoids, insomnia, irritability and skin conditions.
The detoxifying effects of colon cleansing produce a feeling of well-being and vitality as more energy is derived from the better absorption of food nutrients through the cleaner intestinal walls.
The main aim of this article is to highlight the importance of awareness and being pro-active in the prevention of carcinoma of the large intestine. If you would like more specific information on how you could take preventative measures to protect your health, please check the site cited below.