How to Take Care of Your Colon
Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is the cause of 655,000 deaths worldwide every year and is the fourth most common cancer in the United States. Included in this classification are growths in the colon, rectum, or appendix. These cancers come from polyps, mushroom-like growths, in the colon. They are benign most of the time but some can develop into cancer. The colonoscopy is the diagnostic tool of choice.
Early identification can lead to a cure by surgery and chemotherapy. If they go untreated they will spread. If the spread is to distant sites, it cannot be cured.
The colonoscopy is the most effective screening method yet. By identifying the types of polyps that become cancerous early enough and having them removed, you will avoid this kind of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that those who have no identified risk factors other than age should begin testing at age 50. Those with a family history should talk to their doctors sooner.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Double contrast barium enema every 5 years
- CT colonography every 5 years
This disease has few signals unless it has spread elsewhere. Many of the symptoms may be a part of other diseases and go unnoticed. Some things to look for are changes in bowel habits, tenesmus (a feeling of incomplete defecation), and smaller diameter of stool than usual. There may be bleeding and increased mucus. If the tumor is large enough, there will be bowel obstruction.
- Age. Usually occurs in the 60s and 70s.
- Polyps of the colon
- History of cancer
- Diet—high in red meat and low in fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry, and fish
- Physical inactivity
- Low levels of selenium
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Environmental factors
- Alcohol, especially heavy drinking
Some alternative-medicine movements promote colon cleansing and special diets as a way to avoid developing colon cancer. There are even centers where you can go and have your colon cleansed. For the cleansing of the bowel, Vitality Medical has a range of tools for that purpose. Go to the website and click “Enema & Colon Care” in the left column. You will find enema bags, Fleet Enema, suppositories, Enemeez, and laxatives. The prices here are low and everything can be ordered online and delivered to your front door.