Cancer of the colon and/or rectum (colorectal cancer) can begin without symptoms, which is why early screening is important. Pre-cancerous and benign polyps can be removed before they become cancer. While routine screening often begins at 50, screening for those at higher risk may begin as early as 30’s. Having a family history of colorectal cancer puts you at higher risk. Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer –
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- Fecal Occult Blood (FOB) (*Easily performed at home or in the doctor’s office.) **
- Stool immunochemical test (FIT) **
- Stool DNA test (sDNA) **
** According to the American Cancer Society, if these tests are positive a colonoscopy is recommended. Video of Katie Couric and a screening colonoscopy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbUesuxT1IE
“An Ounce of Preventions is Worth a Pound of Cure.” Though at the time, this quote by Benjamin Franklin referred to fire fighting, the advice rings as true today as it did in the 1700’s
Decreasing the Risk of Colon-rectal Cancer –
(Many of the ‘cardiac risk factor reduction’ recommendations mentioned in earlier posts apply to ‘colorectal cancer risk reduction.’)
- Physical Activity (of 30 minutes, 5 x a week)
- Maintain Healthy Weight
- Avoid Smoking
- Minimize Alcohol (2 Drinks for Men, 1 for Women; per day. No need to start if you don’t currently drink.)
**Diet may also play a role in preventing colon cancer, but the study results have been mixed. Some dietary recommendations that may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer:
- Minimize Red and Processed Meats
- Limit Saturated Fat in Your Diet
- Diets Higher in Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains may be beneficial
** Talk to your physician about colorectal screening and prevention!
** TREATMENT for Colorectal Cancer – Conventional Treatment for Colorectal Cancer May Include:
‘Integrative Health Therapies’ for Added Support – Integrative Health Therapies are complementary therapies offered ‘in addition to’ (not in place of,) conventional therapies for supportive care and to minimize side effects of treatment. Integrative therapies may include: acupuncture, massage, meditation, reiki, tai chi, and yoga. To learn more about supportive, integrative therapies offered during cancer treatment – www.nccih.nih.gov. Many hospitals now offer integrative therapies as part of comprehensive health care programs. Ask your physician about incorporating integrative therapies in your plan of care.
Finding an integrative health provider – https://nccih.nih.gov/health/howtofind.htm. and https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/selecting Warning: Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies may not be recommended with your condition. Some herbal and over-the-counter (OTC) products may even interfere with your treatment! ASK Your Oncologist, before pursuing complementary, alternative and integrative therapies. Let your physicians know if you are using CAM therapies or herbs/supplements.
The ‘Integrative Health Model’ is meant to incorporate conventional medicine with complementary therapies that have been demonstrated to be safe, effective and potentially minimize negative side effects, improve outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction.
Sources and More Information: American Cancer Society – http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@nho/documents/document/colorectalcancer.pdf
Center for Disease Control –
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health –
Nip Colon Cancer in the Butt! Prevent, Screen, Detect and Treat EARLY!
Wishing you the Best in Health, Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N.
Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™ Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com.
Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.