Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colon Cancer Prevention – Part 1

Colon cancer makes me nervous…not only is it coined “the silent killer”, but according to the American Cancer Society it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. (Moving up from third place in 2007.) Some of my family members have had concerns which keeps this cancer gnawing at the back of my mind. I have been reading quite a bit about this particular cancer, and am taking the stance of prevention for myself.

Dr. Robert Russell of Tufts University School of Medicine states that one half the risk of colon cancer is diet related. Changing one’s diet can significantly reduce the risk. I thought I would share some of the steps I have learned one can take to hopefully avoid Colon Cancer. By the time I finished reading from my various sources, this blog post became so long that I feel I must break it up in to two parts.

So first, some thoughts on causes….

Hormones? In many cases, colon cancer arises from what is known as a polyp, a growth in the colon. I have suspected for a year now that colon cancer could be related to hormones. Afterall, if excess estrogen causes cysts in the ovaries, fibroids in the breast, and enlarged prostrate – all forms of excess cell growth, it makes sense to me that excess estrogen also causes the growth of a polyp. I am still researching this and finding some who substantiate these thoughts, but not finding enough affirmation to say “it is so”. Still, I think it is worth mentioning, because let’s face it…we don’t want those other forms of cancers either, do we? I am a believer in the benefits of using a bio-identical progesterone cream that counters excess estrogen in the body.
UPDATE NOTE OCT. 2011 - In reading Dr. Michael Platt's book - The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones, he also concurs and adds colon cancer to the list of cancers in which too much of the estrogen hormone and too little progesterone play a part. I have increased my Prolief progesterone cream usage upon hearing this.
Inflammatory Diet: Dr. Russell Blaylock states, “As with all cancers, chronic inflammation and free radical generation are the ultimate causes.” Those with inflammatory bowel conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease,and Type 2 Diabetes, the latter of which results in high levels of free radicals in the body, have high association with colon cancer risk.”

Lack of Sunshine? Studies show that those who live in the northeastern portion of the U.S. have higher incidence than those who live in the south. Why is this? Vitamin D3 deficiency. Studies show that vitamin D3 inhibits many types of cancer, including colorectal cancers. How do you get your D3 – spend 15 min. a day out in the sun without sunscreen! Tanning bed users beware…it is not the same thing!

Calcium deficiency is another mineral shown to dramatically reduce colon cancer. However, per Dr. Blaylock, don’t replace your water intake with milk (which substantially increases the risk of prostrate cancer, and even heart attacks). The almond milk I drink every morning in my yellow pea, brown rice and cranberry based protein drink contains 45% of the daily recommended allowance for calcium, as compared to 30% for skim milk. Also, a calcium supplement (look for calcium citrate for absorbability) that also contains Vitamin D and Magnesium necessary for the body to utilize the calcium, would be supportive in colon cancer prevention. I was in Costco and noted the highly marketable chocolate chew form of a calcium supplement (geared towards women of course, who usually take a calcium supplement when older) and I noticed that the product did not contain magnesium. So yes, it may taste good, but your body would not be able to make use of the calcium without magnesium present. Most Americans also have a magnesium deficiency, which is a greater problem than we realize.
I have a Calcium Plus product that contains all of these nutrients, and the ORAC value is 10,000! (Which means the actual absorption of the product is phenomenal!
Okay, so now we know we need some sunshine, avoid inflammatory foods (wheat, gluten, and dairy are especially inflammatory), eat vegetables rich in calcium, or supplement, and strive to balance our hormones, either with diet or utilizing bio-identical supplementation (which is not the same as HRT by any means! If you have been reading this blog a while you are aware, and if not, check the topic cloud at the upper right to learn more.) What else can we do to help thwart the “silent killer”? Check the next post for some specifics on prevention.
To your health,
Rita S.

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