March is “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.”
Since colorectal cancer is second only to lung cancer in terms of deadliness, it’s good to be aware of it and more importantly, know how to prevent it.
Colorectal cancer is rather personal to me since my Mom had it back in 1978 and ended up with a permanent colostomy as a result.
When she was first diagnosed, it seemed so shocking to 15 year-old me, but now as a 59 year-old woman in the health and nutrition field, I recognize and remember a lot of what could have gone into her cancer “recipe.”
While I wish I knew then what I know now and could have helped my Mom, I will instead pass along what may be helpful or possibly life-saving information to you.
Deaths are decreasing in older adults, but…
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), occurrences and deaths due to colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and/or rectum) have both been declining about 2 - 3 percent per year since 1999.
Experts attribute much of this decline to colonoscopies and their ability to enable doctors to remove precancerous growths or polyps before they become cancerous.
But colorectal cancer is STILL the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women.
And here’s something especially disturbing—although colorectal cancers among older adults are slightly decreasing, rates in younger adults are exploding!
A recent study that compared cancer cases from 2002 and 2016 in adults under age 50 showed the following:
- Colon-only, distant (late-stage) adenocarcinoma increased 49 percent in 30–39-year-olds.
- Rectal-only, distant cancer increased 133 percent in 20–29-year-olds, 97 percent in 30–39-year-olds and 48 percent in 40–49-year-olds.
- Colorectal cancer distant-stage proportions saw the largest increases in 20–29-year-olds.
Methinks we have a serious problem.
The CDC’s top strategy is to look for cancer after it has occurred
The top CDC recommendation for reducing your colorectal cancer risk is stated as follows:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults aged 45 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer.
Read that again closely.
The best way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened (i.e.: colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or stool tests).
Tell me, how in the world does a test that will only detect cancer after it has occurred reduce your risk of developing it?
Now let’s take a look at…
The common and not-so-common warning signs
Although the most common signs of colorectal cancer are changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation or narrower stools than usual) or blood in the stool, here are some others you might not be aware of:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Cramping or gnawing abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite or nausea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Straining to have a bowel movement
TRUE prevention is the key!
The important fact here is that colorectal cancer happens to be one of the most preventable forms of cancer!
Here are some surefire ways to help reduce your risk:
Make half of your plate fresh fruits and vegetables and eat a tossed salad every day.
I know I’ve said this countless times before, but studies still show that only 5 percent of the average American’s daily calories come from fruits and vegetables, and less than one person in four eats at least five servings a day—so go ahead and call me a broken record.
If you are a vegetable-hater or if Ronald Reagan was President last time you ate a salad, then my Great Taste No Pain system can help by giving you delicious ideas for enjoying fiber-rich foods!
Plus in Great Taste No Pain I show you how to pair foods together in your meals to promote better digestion and less constipation—another checkmark in the colorectal cancer prevention column!
Avoid sugars and refined carbs.
Sugar literally feeds cancer cells, plus it is nourishment for harmful yeasts and microbes in your gut. When harmful microbes get the “upper hand” in your intestinal tract, this weakens your immune system function, so it is less able to protect you against cancer.
Note that refined carbs (like breads, pasta and pastries) turn to sugar upon digestion, so from your body’s perspective, there’s no difference.
And “sugars and refined carbs” also includes SODA, so stay far away from that liquid poison.
This was one of my mother’s cancer-causing downfalls—she loved her sweets and was severely overweight her entire adult life.
I also believe this is a driving force behind cancers in younger people, as their soda consumption is significantly higher than prior generations.
Get enough Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is especially protective against colorectal cancer, and for those people who are already suffering from it, it has been shown in studies to double your chances of survival! Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can help ensure you have health-supporting levels of this crucial nutrient.
Support your colon and immune system with probiotics.
Probiotics help encourage more complete digestion and elimination of wastes, which is very important since constipation is a major colorectal cancer risk factor! Plus probiotics help support strong immune function, which protects you against cancer.
Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is as good as it gets! Super Shield is a full-spectrum formula that provides a variety of 13 strains, each having their own “specialty” as to how they help support intestinal and overall health, plus prebiotics which are nourishment for your friendly microbes.
Eat the right fats and stay away from the wrong ones.
About 30 percent of your daily calories should come from fats, broken down between saturated fats like butter, coconut oil and avocado, monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (like omega-3 fats).
In addition, avoid cooking with polyunsaturated vegetable oils and margarine because when they are heated, they form dangerous disease-causing compounds that are as deadly as trans-fats! Use stable fats like butter, coconut oil or even lard in cooking.
This was another one of my Mom’s mistakes. She always cooked with margarine or “oleo.”
Eat meat the right way.
Meat is a very nutritious food—where it can increase your risk of colorectal cancer is when you eat too much of it or the wrong kind. A sensible serving of meat is 3 ounces—a piece about the size of a deck of cards.
Strive for organic varieties to avoid the hormones, antibiotics and GMO feed given to conventionally raised animals. Stay away from highly processed meats. And pair meats with lots of vegetables to buffer the acidity and help support efficient digestion.
To your healthy colon and rectum,