Gain Knowledge-Get Tested!
Susan Cohen Colon Cancer Foundation
The National Voice of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon.
The colon is part of the body?s digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).
Risk factors include the following:
Age 50 or older.
A family history of cancer of the colon or rectum.
A personal history of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium, or breast.
history of polyps in the colon.
Polyps in the colon. Some polyps have a stalk and others do not. Inset shows a photo of a polyp with a stalk.
A history of ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) or Crohn’s disease.
Certain hereditary conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome).
Not along ago, many people thought that there was little that they could do to protect themselves against cancer.
Recently, however, scientists have taken a closer look at cancer. They’ve learned more about how the disease develops and what biological and environmental factors increase cancer risk.
We now have better weapons for fighting the disease: more options for diagnosis and treatment, improved therapies and new technologies for early detection.
We also now know that people can take steps to protect themselves against cancer.
All people can lower their overall cancer risk by being active and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
High consumption of red and processed meat over a long period of time is associated with an increased risk for a certain type of colon cancer, according to a study in the January 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
But, in addition to regular exercise and healthy eating, there are other ways that you could protect yourself against cancer, based on your age, gender and family history of the disease.
Research suggests that up to 35 percent of cancers are related to poor diet. By modifying what you eat and being active, you can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems.
Once you have made the decision to exercise, choose an activity that suits your personality ? if you like the company of other people, choose an activity like a dance class or a team sport. If you prefer solitary activity, then walking or using equipment in a gym may be better for you.
Get help: ask for assistance from someone with an understanding of your selected activity ? a trainer at your gym, the aerobic instructor ? to help you prevent injury and to get the most from your workout.
Remember that even moderate exercise has health benefits. Moderate exercise is defined as activity that burns 150 calories of energy a day or 1000 a week. Try walking, yard work or recreational games like tennis or basketball.
Work toward 30 minutes of physical activity between three to five days a week.
Set realistic goals for yourself based on your fitness level.
Go slow and steady so you don?t become disappointed by setbacks.
Keep to a regular schedule ? you will establish a routine and be more likely to stick to it. If you don?t stick to your schedule, don?t worry. Just pick up again where you left off and start again.
Always check with a physician when you begin a new exercise program, especially if you have been sedentary.
Holistic approaches examine all potential contributing factors that affect total well being and consider these factors in assessing overall health. This holistic approach is widely accepted in the medical world to promote health and well being, and possibly stave off cancer and other diseases.
Holistic approaches report that diet and lifestyle are major factors in colon cancer prevention. You may support a healthy lifestyle by getting regular physical activity, eating less red and processed meat, eating more fruits and vegetables (particularly raw), avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol, and drinking more water.1 Supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics and fiber may also promote health and well being, and help to prevent cancer.
For more information regarding holistic approaches to colon cancer prevention, we urge you to do a little research.