The medical field has constantly preached about the dangers of cancer to the general public. Yet when this topic arises, the issue of colon cancer seldom comes to mind. However, the lack of general chatter about this type of cancer does not mean that its presence can be ignored. On the contrary, the American Cancer Society provides that colorectal cancer, colon and/or rectal cancer, is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States population.
In 2016 alone, there are an estimated 95,270 new cases of colon cancer, while another 49,190 patients are expected to succumb to this disease. This statistic puts the risk of developing colon cancer at 4.7% for men and 4.4% for women. It is known that certain risk factors give rise to the probability of colon cancer but there is an alarming lack of awareness towards the preventive measures readily available to the general society.
Medical data shows that 75% of colon cancers can be prevented simply by implementing various preventive measures into daily lifestyle routines. The simplicity of this theory highlights the fundamental issue that most individuals have been guilty of, neglecting to provide adequate care towards the body and health condition. To put a stop to the sign of colon cancer, it is more urgent than ever to educate the people regarding preventive measures that can help in warding off the prevalence of colon cancer.
- Healthy Body, Weight & Diet
The importance of a healthy diet can never be underestimated. Not only does it aid in effective management, it also offers a wide range of health benefits that contributes towards long-term health conditions. For instance, a dietary plan that revolves around high fiber content is scientifically proven to lower the risks of colon cancer. A general selection of cold water fishes, fruits and vegetables are ideal candidates as well. In addition, red meats and other foods that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided as they can aid in the onset of colon cancer.
- Less Indulgence, More Life Experience
Another lifestyle choice that has to be taken into consideration is the habit of smoking or drinking. On top of long-term health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and stroke, smoking is a one of the leading causes of 14 types of cancers, with no exceptions to colon cancer. Alcohol consumption should be strictly limited to a moderate amount, excessive intake can be detrimental to individual health and increase the risk of colon cancer significantly.
- Vitamins and Minerals, Good Companions
A landmark study conducted by the Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, United States, adequately provides that Vitamin D and calcium intake have a strong negative correlation with a healthy colon. Spanning across a total of 19 years, the study found that populations with the least amount of Vitamin D production and calcium absorption recorded the highest risk percentages of colon cancer. Even when the data was adjusted for other factors such as age, body mass index and smoking habits, the inverse relationship between both elements remained strongly intact. This major risk factor for colon cancer can be easily defeated by consuming health supplements that help to provide the necessary dosage of Vitamin D and calcium.
- Self-Evaluation, Proactive Mindset
Based on thorough analysis of previous cases, medical professionals have identified the group of people at an increased risk of colon cancer. For individuals who satisfy either of the following criteria, it is prudent to consult with a doctor or health professional regarding personal risks of developing this disease.
- Old age, especially 60 years and above
- Suffering or have suffered from Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Prevalence of colon cancer in family history
- Tall Height (5 ft 8 in – Women; 5 ft 11 in – Men)
Although this guideline indicates a heightened risk of contradicting colon cancer, it should not be regarded as a positive diagnosis. Individuals who fall into these categories should actively implement a healthier lifestyle and change their mindset towards their body condition as they need all the help that they can get to fight off colon cancer.
- Getting Screened Regularly
Without a doubt, the best way to prevent colon cancer is to participant in regular screening tests. There are a number of options to choose from but each of these tests seeks the same objective: to detect early signs of colon cancer and prescribe effective treatment to prevent the condition from deteriorating.
These tests aim to source for abnormal growths, known as polyps, that can turn into cancer when left untreated. With the exception of people who are at an increased risk of developing this disease, the general public should start getting tested at the age of 50.
The public media tend to channel all their focus on high profile cancers that help to generate viewership and this has inadvertently neglected the potential dangers of colon cancer. The threat of colon cancer is evidenced by its rank as the 3rd most common type of cancer. Surprisingly, 75% of the patients suffering from colon cancer could have been easily avoided be implementing preventive measures in the early stages. This list above serves as a stark reminder to all that while colon cancer might not be publicized widely, the effects of it is still felt around the medical industry and individuals should adopt a proactive mindset towards protecting themselves against this disease.