Colon cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the tissues of the colon or large intestine. The risks of colon cancer is directly proportional to one’s age and is most common in people who have a history of polyps – small non-cancerous growths – in the colon or rectum, ulcerative colitis or other colon disorders and those with a family history of colon cancer. Colon cancer can bring about a change in bowel movements – be it in frequency, size or shape. Diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, fatigue and vomiting are also symptoms of this particular cancer.
Lessening risks of colon cancer involves your diet.
Decrease fat intake. A high-fat diet can put your health at risk. According to Dr. David Mangelsdorf of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas:
“The current American diet can provide more fat on a daily basis than a human being was ever meant to handle.”
Consequentially, cancers of the colon and rectum are more much more prevalent in the United States than in Japan where the common diet is low in fat. It is unclear as to why fat increases cancer risk, but Mangelsdorf and his fellow researchers believe lithocholic acid, which is produced as the body processes cholesterol, may be at least partially responsible.
As said by Dr. Mangelsdorf, “Lithocholic acid is highly toxic and it builds up in a high-fat diet. We don’t know how it causes cancer, but it is known to cause cancer in mice and people with colon cancer have high concentrations of it.”
In a low-fat diet, oils would naturally be used in moderation. However, studies show that olive oil may instead be protective against colon cancer unlike corn and safflower oils which may increase your risk.
Of course, one must also not forget to drink low-fat milk. Though lactose or sugar in milk seemingly protects your colon with healthy bacteria, you should lessen your intake of other dairy products like cheese, buttermilk and butter as they may slightly increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
Another reason to choose a healthier, low-fat diet is that potato chips, French fries and other starchy foods fried at high temperatures contain considerable amounts of acrylamide, possibly a cancer-causing compound.
Avoid prime protein. It was found by European researchers that red meat and processed meat in particular can increase the risk of colon cancer. Several studies have also found a connection between well-done, especially grilled, meats and colon cancer. Good alternative sources of protein are broiled fish, baked chicken or turkey breast and beans.