Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the U.S. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for 2014 are 96,830 new cases of colon and 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. The lifetime risk is 1 in 20 or 5%. There are factors within our control to lessen our chances (research based) such as eating less red meat (beef, lamb, liver), especially processed meats (lunch meat, hot dogs). Also, increasing vegetable and high-fiber foods, and getting daily exercise have been proven to be effective. Obesity, is a strong risk factor within our control, as is Vitamin D deficiency, drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day and radiation exposure.
A new study links eating a high-carb diet to colorectal cancer re-occurrence. It is highly likely that the participants in this study always enjoyed a high carb diet and did not start AFTER their colorectal cancer bout. That being said, I add eating a high carb diet to the list for a clear risk factor for colorectal (or any) cancer. Here are the study facts.
This study analyzed data on 1,011 adults, most in their early 60s, who had surgery and chemotherapy for Stage III colon cancer, in which the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in the immediate area but had not metastasized to distant parts of the body. In about a seven-year span, the cancer recurred in 343 people; 262 of them died, as did 43 others who had no recurrence of cancer. People who consumed the most carbohydrate-rich foods were 80 percent more likely to have had a recurrence of colon cancer or to have died than were those who consumed the least of such foods. Among people who were overweight or obese, high carbohydrate consumption more than doubled the risk for a cancer recurrence or death.
Anything we do to our bowels that is not healthy can contribute to cancer. Cancer is a cell that has mistakenly gone awry. The cells of the body are wise however and can convert back to normal cells. This happens all the time in the body. Problem is, often we only start to care about ourselves and the health of our cells, AFTER something has gotten our attention (i.e. a tumor), and then it seems too late to make changes. Some things that come to mind that can harm the gut lining are taking too many antibiotics, steroids, acid blockers, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, not moving the bowels daily, eating foods we are intolerant too (causes toxins), eating “foods” that are not real food, preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, insecticides, fake sweeteners and other chemicals.
Naturopathic medical doctors play a powerful role in getting to root cause of the health issue. I highly recommend finding a naturopath to support your health. I am governed by the naturopathic principles of do not harm, and treat the cause. I also can help stimulate the vital healing power of your body and with the help of nature, optimize your health, for you and for all.