What you might not know about colon cancer


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What you might not know about colon cancer


Back in 1978 (when I was 15 years old) and a mere six months after my father died suddenly, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. 

I remember being terrified at the prospect of losing both parents within a short time of each other, and colon cancer seemed like such a mystery to me.  Thankfully, it’s no mystery anymore (more on that below), but back then it seemed like anyone was fair game for cancer to pay a visit. 

By the grace of God, my mom was cured, but unfortunately was saddled with a colostomy for the remainder of her life and never again had a normal bowel movement. 

And she was only 56 years old when this happened. 

First the stats—they’re expanding 

Nowadays the terminology for colon cancer includes rectal cancer; hence the title “colorectal cancer.” 

Currently, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US.  The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. 

But what’s even more unsettling is that in recent years, there’s been a surge of new colon cancer cases in younger adults.  Since the 1990s, the rate of colorectal cancer has more than doubled in people younger than 50! 

Sadly, this is a trend we are seeing in a number of diseases that used to typically be limited to people over 50, but that is no longer the case. 

Concerns about colonoscopies 

When it comes to screening for colorectal cancer, colonoscopy has been the gold standard for quite some time and has been recommended for everyone over age 50. 

But recent research is showing that they’re not necessarily all they’re cracked up to be. 

First, they’re not foolproof.  Current estimates show that colonoscopy misses about 17 percent of colorectal cancers. 

In addition, there is the risk of colon perforation, bleeding and even contributing to the growth of colorectal polyps or tumors! 

Equipment contamination is also a very real concern and can cause infections among other things.  

Plus dysbiosis resulting from the harsh (that’s the understatement of the year) pre-test laxative treatment is something you rarely hear about.  But obliterating your gut microbiome and giving harmful microbes the upper hand can come back to bite you and weaken your immune function. 

Making you even MORE susceptible to cancer!  

And here’s a surprising fact:  Recent research from 2022 comparing 2 groups—one that had colonoscopies and one that didn’t—shows that there was NO statistically significant reduction in the risk of death from colorectal cancer in the screened group. 

Other options 

There are other options to screen for colon cancer including:  

  • Stool tests—the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which check for the presence of blood or antibodies in your stool 
  • FIT-DNA test (AKA stool DNA test), which combines the FIT test with a test to look for altered DNA in your stool 
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy 
  • Computed tomography (CT) colonography 

If you are considering a colorectal cancer screening, discuss all options with your doctor to see if perhaps a less invasive test is right for you. 

I can see clearly now 

Now that I’m in my 60s and have spent over 30 years in the health field, I understand much more clearly what raised my mother’s risk of colon cancer. 

She was a sweet lover, always having her “goodies” as she called them.  But the “goodies” were not “good” at all for her gut, and she likely suffered from an unhealthy microbiome as a result. 

And trust me, my mother never took probiotics, even though in later years I tried to convince her to do so. 

She also used saccharin and later aspartame in her coffee, despite my objections.  Both saccharin and aspartame are linked to cancers. 

Prevention is where it’s at! 

The most important fact here is that colorectal cancer happens to be one of the most preventable forms of cancer! 

Here are five surefire ways to help reduce your risk: 

Make half of your plate fresh 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. 

Load up on fresh vegetables and incorporate tossed salads into your meals. 

Avoid sugars and refined carbs. 

Sugar feeds cancer cells, plus it is nourishment for harmful yeasts and microbes in your gut.  As I mentioned above, 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.   

(I believe this is a driving force behind increased 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 especially important since constipation is a major colorectal cancer risk factor!  Plus probiotics help support strong immune function. 

And Super Shield PLUS multi-strain probiotic formula is as good as it gets!  Super Shield PLUS is a potent, full-spectrum formula that provides 20 billion CFUs and a variety of 15 strains, each having their own “specialty” as to how they help support intestinal and overall health. 

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 fish oil).   

Avoid cooking with unsaturated vegetable oils and margarine because when they are heated, they form dangerous disease-causing compounds that are as deadly as trans-fats!  Use stable saturated 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.” 

Now you have some effective strategies to help not only prevent cancer but pave the way for better overall health! 

To your healthy colon and rectum, 

Sherry Brescia 

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