Lifestyle Choices as Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
As I’ve already discussed, diet plays a pivotal role in the risk factors of colon cancer. In this section, you’ll learn tips and changes to drastically lower your future risk of colon cancer. As an additional benefit, the lifestyle choices that cause colon cancer will also have a strong benefit on survival if you are diagnosed as well.
I’ll start out with general patterns that are risk factors of colon cancer.
While some of these may seem obvious, I think you may be surprised at just how powerful the choices you make are when it comes to colon cancer risk.
While hereditary factors play a role, the role of genetics is dwarfed by the role of lifestyle choices.
Western Diet Patterns and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
A “Western” diet is one that is made up of refined/processed carbohydrates, high in saturated fat and red meats. You can figure out what falls into this category. It’s all about convenience and cost and has nothing to do with health.
It is very clear that a Western dietary pattern contributes to chronic disease. As in ALL of them.
Colon cancer is no different.
But how much?
In one very large study, women who ate more of a Westernized diet (defined by these researchers as a diet high in red / processed meats, sweets / desserts, French fries and refined carbohydrates) had a 46% higher risk of developing colon cancer.
That’s impressive. But the story didn’t stop there. Women who made better dietary choices (more fruits, veggies, legumes, fish, poultry and whole grains) had a 29% lower risk of developing colon cancer.
In case math is not your strong point, this is a 75% difference in colon cancer risk from dietary choices alone.
Fruits and Veggies and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Are you sitting down?
Fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of cancer.
I realize this may come as a shock, but it is true.
But it’s just a little bit, right? Wouldn’t routine colonoscopy be a more powerful tool to lower your risk of developing colon cancer?
One study looking at how powerful fruit and veggie intake had on developing colon polyps (colorectal adenomas). Researchers found that the highest intakes of fruit and vegetables led a 44% lower risk of developing colon cancer.
Not too shabby.
But what exactly do they mean by “fruits and vegetables?” And how does this mesh with what I recommend?
I tell patients that vegetable intake should be varied and as much as you can take in a day. More is ALWAYS better when it comes to vegetables.
When it comes to fruits, however, my recommendations are not the same. I am less a fan of the “typical” fruits like melons and citrus fruits; instead I steer patients towards darker fruits and berries. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, etc…
These darker berries pack a much more powerful punch per calories. Less so for fruits like melons and less for fruit juices (with the exception of the darker juices like tart cherry, pomegranate and REAL cranberry).
That being said, researchers in this study were talking about total fruits, berries, fruit juice and green leafy vegetables specifically.
Personally, I feel that increasing your intake only of darker berries instead of focusing on all fruits would lead to an even more protection from colon cancer.
Eating Fish and Omega-3 Fats and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
The Western diet has a low intake of healthy fats. Much of this came from the doomed Dietary Guide Pyramid that made all Americans afraid of fat.
The research on healthy fats is very clear and very strong. Eating more healthy fats and using fish oil supplements have been linked to lower risks of pretty much every chronic disease known to man.
The long discussion on what foods to eat to get more healthy fats is beyond the scope of this article, but you can read more on this in my eBook on Healthy Fats by clicking here.
So how much do healthy fats play a role in the risk of colon cancer?
Quite a bit.
In one study following people for over 22 years, researchers found that eating more high omega-3 fish (think salmon and tuna) led to a 40% lower risk of colon cancer.
A side note–there is a clear difference between farm-raised and wild-caught fish. Salmon living in the wild eat algae for food, which is loaded in the omega-3 fat DHA very protective compounds called carotenoids.
Farmed-raised salmon, on the other hand, are fed food made of grains and corn (NOT what a salmon eats in the wild), has dyes added instead of the natural carotenoids, are high in pesticides and farm-raised salmon also lead to parasites that get out into the oceans and destroy the wild salmon.
Style of Cooking and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Sometimes it’s not just WHAT you’re eating, but how you’re preparing it that makes a difference.
There are a couple of factors that play a strong role in the risk of colon cancer and how you prepare your food.
Seems to make sense—if you’re food is not prepared in a safe way, your food will have close contact with the cells lining your intestinal tract. It just makes sense that your food would have a direct effect on your risk of colon cancer.
High Heat Cooking Cause Colon Cancer
Cooking with heat creates two problems.
First, rapidly heating meat produces something called heterocyclic amines (HCA). HCA have been clearly linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including colon cancer.
One way to lower the amount of HCA produced when cooked is to cook s-l-o-w-e-r. If you’re cooking on the grill, turn down the burner. If you neighbors are calling the fire department because the flames from your grill are showing up over the fence, there’s a problem.
Another way is to add spices to your meat from grilling. Studies have demonstrated that mixing spices into the meat can protect the body from damage done to the meat in the cooking process.
The second problem is when fats dripping off meats hit the cooking source below (like the coals or the metal above a gas flame), the super-heating changes the chemical structure of the fat, producing chemicals called polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Much like HCAs, PAHs have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, again including colon cancer.
Luckily, you can reduce the amount of PAHs produced from grilling by basting your meats before cooking. The same approaches for HCAs apply for PAHs; slow down cooking time / methods and spicing your meat before cooking.
Pretty simple changes with strong payouts.
Since the dawn of household use of the microwave in the 70’s, there has been concern that microwaving will destroy water soluble healthy compounds in foods.
Given the widespread use of microwaving and its hard-to-argue convenience factor, if microwaving does destroy the nutritional content of foods this is something very important for the public to know.
The answer, just like everything else in life, is not that clear cut.
Turns out that how you microwave foods can make all the difference.
Researchers in one study gave us a much greater understanding of how microwaving affects nutrient levels in food. They took raw broccoli and compared it to microwaved broccoli that was cooked for 1 and 4 minutes.
What the researchers did well was to look at two factors.
The first was to see if microwaving influenced broccoli’s ability to affect colon cancer cells in a petri dish. The second was to look at the levels of sulfurophane, one of the most protective compounds in broccoli.
Here’s what they found:
- The broccoli that was microwaved for 1 minute was almost 3 times more powerful than the raw broccoli.
- The broccoli that was microwaved for 4 minutes had all the sulfurophane destroyed.
This would suggest that raw foods may not release the same level of nutrients as does raw foods. There are certainly going to be exceptions, but in general, cooking food will make more nutrients available for your body to use to protect itself.
But overcooking will destroy nutrients.
Personally, when I warm things up in the microwave, I cook UP to the temp I’m looking for instead of overcooking and letting my food cool down. In other words, I would rather warm up my leftovers in two 20-second segments instead of nuking my leftovers for 1 minute and then having to leave it cool down.
You are more likely to destroy nutrients if you overcook. Just remember this and you’ll make sure that you’re getting all the anti-cancer benefits from your food.
Polyphenols and Colon Cancer Risk
You’re probably aware that the foods you eat contain protein, fat and carbohydrates as well as minerals like magnesium or calcium.
What you may not be aware of is that there are thousands of other compounds in the foods you eat that helps to protect your health and lower your risk of colon cancer, provided your diet is not limited to fast food only.
Polyphenols are a large class of protective compounds found in foods and drinks. Think berries, tea, onions and most vegetables—the scents, colors and tastes that these foods contain–and you begin to get the idea.
It is very clear that these compounds are extremely protective to your health in a variety of ways. These few articles demonstrate just how much they can protect against colon cancer.
Fruits and Vegetables as Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
One of the main reasons I do not support national organizations (cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.…) is that they spend almost no time on prevention and instead preach about finding a cure.
These organizations have the spotlight to help prevent many types of cancer, but the details never seem to be on the website and press releases.
The most specific you will hear is to “eat your fruits and vegetables.”
Knowing which fruits and veggies pack the strongest punch can help.
In one large review, researchers looked at how much the protective polyphenols in fruits and vegetables could affect colon cancer risk. They looked at various classes of polyphenols to see if one class was more protective than another. Here’s what they found:
- Quercetin is a polyphenol that is found in high levels in foods like onions, dark red and blue fruits, capers and chili peppers. Higher intakes of quercetin led to a 32% lower colon cancer risk.
- Catechins are a group of polyphenols that are particularly high in tea (more on this in a minute) and are also found in dark fruits and dark chocolate. Diets higher in catechins also led to a 32% lower colon cancer risk.
Having more information about the specifics of “fruits and vegetables” can help you make more powerful decisions in your diet to lower your colon cancer risk.
Tea Drinking and Colon Cancer Risk
You have heard all your life that you need 8-10 glasses of water per day to stay healthy. The message has become so embedded that I have patients who feel guilty because they don’t think they are drinking enough water.
Society has gotten to the point where everyone feels the need to have a plastic water bottle no more than 3 feet from their persons at all times.
But what if society got it wrong?
As I’ve mentioned time and time again, there is a shocking lack of evidence for the “8-10 glasses of water per day” mantra that we seem to hear from every group giving health recommendations.
Based on these recommendations, you would think that you are merely 16.3 fluid oz of water away from drying up into a husk and blowing away.
But is staying hydrated with water what the research supports?
On one contrary, the are a lot of studies linking BPA exposure (BPA leaches into the water from the plastic water bottle) to obesity, diabetes and breast cancer.
Then we have reports from the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) that demonstrate that many of the popular bottled water brands are little more than tap water, and tap water that is too high in pollutants to be consumed by pregnant women in the state of California.
Yet another study found a slight increase in diabetes risk with drinking more than 6 glasses of water per day.
Not looking too good for water so far.
Tea, on the other hand, has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, protect your heart and brain as well as lower your risk of ovarian and breast cancer. And this is just the short list.
It would make sense that, if tea lowers the risk of other cancers, it would also lower colon cancer risk.
One large review looked at how much drinking tea protected women in China from cancers of the digestive system like the stomach and colon. Here’s what they found:
- On average, drinking tea lowered overall risk by 14%.
- The more tea a woman drank and the longer she had been drinking tea, the stronger the protection.
- At its strongest, the protection from tea led to a 26% lower colon cancer risk in woman who drank 2-3 cups per day.
Most of the women who were studied drank green tea. I usually tell patients that whatever black tea does, green tea does better, and whatever green tea does, white tea does better.
Either way, drinking any type of tea will protect you.
In our household we go through large quantities of all kinds of tea; looking more for taste than type of tea. The preference is organic, flavored and unsweetened. ALWAYS unsweetened.
To get a better idea of how you should stay hydrated, check out my Hydration Myths article here..
Resveratrol and Fiber as Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Resveratrol is the polyphenol that is found in peanut skins as well as dark grape skins and the wines that are made from them.
It is a strong antioxidant and has also been shown to act directly on your DNA in a good way.
What we know about how our diet affects our health has been changing dramatically in the past decade or so. This is because we have begun to scratch the surface of how much the bacteria in our gut (the “microbiome”) affects our health.
Science is starting to understand that some of the benefits from our diet are not direct; rather, the benefits also come from changing the microbiome in a friendly way.
While I’ll cover this concept in more detail in the next section, the findings from this animal study should begin to give you an idea of how diet interacts with your microbiome.
Butyrate is a compound that is produced when friendly bacteria in your gut digest soluble fiber. Without a doubt, the cells lining your colon LOVE butyrate. The more butyrate, the healthier your cells will be.
When researchers combined resveratrol with butyrate in mice, the combination of the two was more powerful in preventing the growth of colon cancer cells.
Findings like these point out that an approach to lowering your colon cancer risk is not just about adding in just one thing—it’s about an entire program of making good choices for your health.
Soy and Colon Cancer Risk
Soy as part of a healthy diet, for some reason, has always been controversial. At the deep end, it should be avoided like the plague because it will suck the life out of your thyroid, shrink your testicles and cause cancer just by being in the same room as tofu.
I’ve covered soy intake in detail in my article on breast cancer so I won’t cover it again here.
When I do talk about soy, I make it clear that you need to stay away from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) soy and no processed soy like veggie burgers or anything with textured vegetable protein (TVP) in the ingredients.
As I’ve mentioned in my numerous articles that were written on soy, the research is almost entirely positive. And since this article covers things that affect colon cancer risk, it would make sense to point out that researchers have found that those people who have a higher intake of soy have a 33% lower colon cancer risk.
In another review of several studies on soy, researchers found that soy intake in women lowered risk of colon cancer by 21%.
Soy contains several different types of polyphenols that would likely account for soy’s ability to lower risk of colon cancer. One thing to understand about soy is that the strongest protection comes from bacteria in your gut acting on the polyphenols in soy to change them to super-protection compounds.
This means that the protection from soy may vary greatly depending on the health of your microbiome. It is very possible that a course of antibiotics may completely wipe out soy’s ability to protect you from colon cancer.
Spices and Colon Cancer Risk
Any time you can add protective value to your foods without adding in calories, it’s a definite win for your health.
Spices fit this mold perfectly.
They are squashed full of hundreds, if not thousands of protective polyphenols that give spices their varying colors, scents and flavors. Each one of these has a protective role to play in your body.
Think of cinnamon, ginger, garlic and black pepper, just to name a few.
On the top of the list of most-studied spices is curcumin, the yellow pigment found in the spice turmeric. The research has been mainly focused on turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation plays a role in most (if not all) chronic diseases, there have been studies on conditions like arthritis, Alzheimer’s dementia and diabetes.
It would only make sense that turmeric / curcumin would influence colon cancer risk, since inflammation has a direct role in cancer in general. The effect on colon cancer risk can be more direct, since this spice would be in direct contact with the cells that need protection the most from colon cancer.
Just to show how much potential this spice can have, researchers gave 3600 mg of curcumin (yes—this is a LOT of curcumin) to colon cancer patients before they had their tumor removed through surgery
What they found was amazing.
Curcumin was able to cut the amount of damage being done to the DNA in the tumor in HALF.
What does this mean?
In general, anytime you damage DNA, all kinds of bad things can occur, including the development of cancer cells. The ability of curcumin to protect against this damage is extraordinary and suggests that this spice can impact the long-term outcomes of colon cancer patients as well as lowering colon cancer risk in the first place.
Supplementing with this level of curcumin for years just to prevent colon cancer may not make the most sense, although the only harm would be to your wallet. As well as losing any friends who are not fans of hanging out with the guy that smells like curry.
Instead, focus on increasing your intake of all spices any chance you can. Having eggs for breakfast (organic omega-3-eggs cooked in olive or coconut oil)? Add in spices to liven up the flavor and add more protective compounds.
Never pass up a chance for a curry dish. Skip the ketchup and pile on the mustard (turmeric is what gives mustard its yellow color).
Following this type of lifestyle will give you the best odds of lowering your colon cancer risk.
The Fiber Story and Colon Cancer Risk Factors
This section is going to cover what is most likely the most important factor when it comes to lowering your risk of colon cancer.
We used to consider fiber as the “roughage” from our diet and associated it with things like green leafy vegetables and celery.
However, as science has forged onward we have come to understand that “fiber” is the term for several different types of carbohydrates in your diet that your body cannot digest.
This does not mean that the fiber does not get digested; it’s just not digested by you.
As I’ve covered already, the bacteria in your gut (your “microbiome”), interact very heavily with the food you take in. This includes the fibers.
Insoluble fibers are not digested as they go through your system. Instead, they act as a sponge as they go through your intestines, absorbing toxins and scrubbing the gut clean.
Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is digested by the microbiome. This process feeds the cells of your colon and allow them to thrive. More bacteria and healthier bacteria. Definitely a good thing. I’ve covered this topic in much more detail in my Gut Health article that can be read by clicking here.
When your microbiome acts on soluble fiber, one of the results is a compound called butyrate. Butyrate is the compound that is believed to be responsible for the protection.
For many years, researchers have shown that butyrate is able to protect the colon from damage and thereby lower your colon cancer risk.
In a study stretching back over 20 years ago, rats given a toxic chemical that causes colon cancer were protected from damage by butyrate. In another study on colon cells, butyrate led to anti-cancer protection in the way DNA was working.
Overall, your diet should include a blend of different fibers from different food sources. Taking Metamucil (not recommended, by the way) as your sole source of dietary fiber is a bad idea and will not lead to the lower colon cancer risk you’d be hoping for.
My article on Gut Health (see link above) covers the fiber types and food sources of these fibers in detail.
Dietary Supplements and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Lifestyle is your most powerful tool to lower colon cancer risk. Period.
Nothing will give you as much bang for your buck in protecting your intestinal tract than sticking with the right choices I have already covered.
That being said, there are supplements that will go even further towards lowering colon cancer risk.
Probiotics and Prebiotics and Colon Cancer Risk Factors
While I’m sure you know what probiotics are, just for clarification, probiotics are protective bacteria that do not cause disease or infections in your body.
Instead of causing problems, these bacteria create mutually beneficial changes that are good for both the bacteria and your body.
Names like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are commonly thrown around, but these are just a few of the known large numbers of bacteria known to be good for you.
Since it is the bacteria that break down the fiber into protective substances like butyrate it would make sense that having a healthy bacterial flora (microbiome) in the gut is also a required part of lowering colon cancer risk.
This also means that antibiotics have the potential to wipe out the protection from dietary fiber.
To get around the idea that the right type of bacteria may not be present, researchers in one study gave probiotics along with “prebiotics,” or the fibers that help the bacteria thrive.
A small group of colon cancer patients were given oligofructose-enriched inulin (a type of fiber known to support the growth of good bacteria) along with the bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for 12 weeks.
In these patients given the fibers and the probiotics, several good things happened:
- Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus levels went up.
- Clostridium perfringens went down (a dangerous bacterium that produces a nasty toxin).
- The cells of the colon slowed their division (a good thing that lowers the growth of cancer).
- Prebiotics balanced the immune response in a positive way (kept interleukin 2 in check and interferon γ).
In a review of several studies done in rats, prebiotics led to several different anti-cancer effects, one of these was an increased ability to break down DNA toxins.
Probiotics plus prebiotics also increases levels of the enzyme glutathione transferase π which has an anti-cancer effect by breaking down DNA toxins.
The authors also pointed out that butyrate may protect against DNA damage from nitrates (think processed meats like lunchmeat and Slim Jims).
Just in case all of this wasn’t enough, yet another study in mice found that giving just the probiotic Lactobacilli salivarius UCC118. Like the prior study, levels of the toxin-producing Clostridia perfringens were lower. When it came to tumor development, only one test mouse developed colon tumors compared to five in the control group. Overall inflammation was lower in those given the Lactobacillis.
The key take-away when it comes to probiotics and prebiotics on lowering colon cancer risk is that it is having the right bacteria present in the gut combined with a wide array of different dietary fibers to support the growth of these good bacteria that give the best benefits.
You can pretty guarantee that antibiotics will wipe out those good bacteria and increase your colon cancer risk.
Vitamin D to Lower Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
The research on Vitamin D has been accumulating for years, but the reality is that the benefits of Vitamin D are part of the way we are supposed to interact with our environment. We were SUPPOSED to be getting sunlight.
Not that my Irish ancestors were hanging out at the equator, but our ancestors got lots of sun exposure at their respective latitudes.
Vitamin D is a hormone. Imagine if any other hormone was critically low in your body—there’d be problems. No different with Vitamin D.
By now patients and doctors aware that Vitamin D plays a role in health, but that is where the education usually stops.
Personally, I have not ordered a Vitamin D level on a patient in years. I’ve certainly seen my fair share of labs ordered by other doctors, however. At least a decade ago, researchers were recommending against routine ordering of Vitamin D levels.
This is because pretty much everyone’s low, supplementation is very inexpensive, and the safety window of Vitamin D supplementation is very wide (in other words, it’s hard to overdose).
When I recommend Vitamin D supplementation I start at 2,000 IU / day and go up from there depending upon patient’s circumstances. It’s not unusual for someone to start at ranges from 6,000-10,000 IU / day.
And once you start supplementation, it’s entirely likely that you will need to continue to supplement forever, unless your level of sun exposure somehow changes.
Despite this, I find it all too common for doctors to give patients a course of Vitamin D supplementation until labs values come back to normal and not any longer.
Could never figure that one out.
All that being said, Vitamin D plays a strong role in cancer prevention, colon cancer included. Here are some of the results from studies:
- 1,000-2,000 IU/day of Vitamin D could result in a 50% reduction in colon cancer risk. As in HALF.
- Another study found that higher sunlight exposure led to a 10% lower risk of colon cancer.
Public health recommendations to avoid sunlight and use SPF 80 to walk to the car have created fear of sunlight. Society has forgotten that sunlight is healthy for us (in moderation, of course).
Joint Supplements and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Researchers reviewed dietary supplement use to see if it had any effect on the risk of colon cancer.
The results were a little surprising for me:
- Glucosamine lowered colon cancer risk 27%.
- Chondroitin lowered colon cancer risk 35%.
- Fish oil supplements lowered risk of colon cancer 35% as well.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (aka MSM) lowered colon cancer risk an impressive 54%.
- Unexpectedly, the herbal supplement St. John’s wort also lowered risk of colon cancer 65%.
These numbers are impressive.
Glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM are all found in higher-quality joint support formulas.
These supplements are also used by the lining of the gut for repair, so it would make sense that they could lead to lower colon cancer risk.
In addition, MSM is a sulfur donor and plays a role in detoxification of toxins, which could play a large role in cancer reduction.
B Vitamins and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Folic acid is an important factor in colon cancer risk, but the story is a little complicated.
There has been some confusion over folic acid’s effect on the risk of colon cancer. Sometimes it protects, sometimes it increases the risk.
Overall, it seems like folic acid, if used before the development of colon cancer, protects. If used after cancerous growth has begun, it may speed up cancer development.
It may also depend heavily upon your genetic makeup. Some people have a genetic copy of an enzyme that runs slow. This slow enzyme (called the MTHFR enzyme) has a hard time turning on folic acid to its active form.
Since folic acid is so important for cells to divide, not having enough of the active form can lead to problems with the way cells divide. This in turn can lead to cancer.
Almost every lab can check whether you have the slow MTHFR enzyme. If it turns out you have it, taking folic acid as a supplement would be a very good thing.
Vitamin B6 is another supplement that can play a role in colon cancer risk.
Researchers looked at a group of studies on whether vitamin B6 could lower the risk of colon cancer. They also looked at whether the active form of B6 in the bloodstream, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) might have an even stronger effect.
The results were pretty impressive:
- Those who had the highest intake of vitamin B6 had a 10% lower risk of colon cancer.
- More impressively, those with the higher levels of PLP in the bloodstream had a 48% lower risk.
A good quality multivitamin can provide optimal levels of either B6 or the active form. You can read my full article on daily vitamin supplements by clicking here.
Improve Colon Cancer Treatment
While most of what I’ve written is focused on how to prevent colon cancer, every recommendation to help prevent colon cancer can play a strong positive role in surviving from and thriving after a colon cancer diagnosis. I will end this article on some things that play a role in improving outcomes of colon cancer.
Body Composition and Prognosis in Colon Cancer
BIA refers to Bio Impedance Analysis, a medical device that runs a small current through your body to determine your level of body fat, muscle mass and how well hydrated you are as well as some other interesting numbers.
One of these is termed “phase angle.” Electricians may recognize the term. While it is technical, it is enough to know that lower phase angles have been linked to poorer health outcomes.
Here’s the deal—if you have a higher phase angle, it means that you’ve got more backup muscle mass. More muscle mass means that, in the case of an infection or serious illness, you’ve got more building blocks of amino acids to make things like antibodies and immunoglobulins.
More muscle mass = better survival. Period.
So how does phase angle relate to colon cancer treatment and survival?
With phase angle numbers, higher is better. Researchers looked at how phase angle related to colon cancer survival. The cutoff was 5.57. In colon cancer patients who had a phase angle lower than 5.57, the average survival was 8.6 months.
40.4 months. Almost five times longer.
If you have not been diagnosed with colon cancer, this is your chance to hit the gym and start building up your muscle mass. If you want more information on how to increase your muscle mass, read my article on Exercise by clicking here.
Once you’ve had the grave misfortune of having been diagnosed with colon cancer, you need to focus beyond the discomfort, fatigue and nausea that comes with treatment and do your best to focus on muscle building exercises.
It will save your life. It’s that clear.
Diet and Colon Cancer Recurrence
There is an unfortunate attitude among many (if not most) oncologists in this country.
Basically, the cancer patient and his or her own physiology no longer matters in the outcome of the cancer. When an oncologist believes this way, any type of supplementation or dietary change will be inconsequential in the total picture.
This attitude is blatantly false with quite a bit of research to back it up. This would be fine, but the patient’s life is literally hanging in the balance.
In today’s day and age, with the amount of research backing up diet and supplements, it should be considered malpractice for an oncologist NOT to fully integrate natural interventions to lower the risk of side effects and improve outcomes of cancer patients.
To give you an idea of just how much power lifestyle has in cancer outcomes, in this study researchers looked at the impact of diet on cancer recurrence.
They found that patients who had a higher intake of a Western diet pattern were 232% less likely to survive for 5 years.
Twice as likely to not make it 5 years based on dietary choices alone. That’s powerful. And obviously not in a good way if you’re on the wrong end of the dietary choices.
You may have noticed that I did not once mention genetics.
On the flip side, I have covered a long list of ways to drastically lower your risk of colon cancer.
Some more protective than others, but it is highly likely that when you combine all the things that I’ve covered into a lifestyle package, your personal risk of developing colon cancer is going to drop like a rock off a high rise.
Even if everyone in your family was diagnosed with colon cancer by the time they were 30, genetics become a much smaller player in the shade of a lifestyle that includes the right dietary choices, exercise and the right supplements in the right dosages.
You are in control of your health. In everything. From the food you choose to put in your mouth to your decision to sit on the couch or go to the gym.
Fill your life with the wrong decisions, and you’ll be forever looking over your shoulder at what might happen.
On the other hand, make the right choices and you will have little to fear from your next colonoscopy