Food and colon cancer
COLON (large intestine) cancer, also referred to as colorectal cancer, is the No. 1 cause
of cancer death for men in this country. For women, it ranks third.
The large intestine is about 5ft long, and it is followed by a 5.5-inch rectum ending with
While there is a strong link between people possessing the gene TGFBR1 and colon
cancer, those suffering from diabetes or are pre-diabetics are also at risk.
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms at all until the cancer is in its
Bloody stool is its most common symptom. As the tumours grow, they can bleed during
the passage of faeces through the colon. It is common for blood to be hidden in the stool
unless bleeding is near the rectum. So detection is not always easy.
If the tumour grows large enough to block the passageway of the large intestine, swelling
and pain of the abdomen can occur.
Patients may suffer unexpected weight loss caused by loss of appetite. Constipation,
diarrhoea or painful bowel movements may also happen.
Causes of colon cancer include genetic predisposition and dietary/lifestyle habits.
Regular cigarette smoking promotes the development and growth of polyps in the colon,
especially those that are more likely to progress into colon cancer.
Although more sophisticated diagnostic methods are available, colonoscopy and blood
markers are the most common tests used in preventive medicine.
Removing polyps in the colon and rectum through colonoscopic polypectomy can result
in a lower incidence of colorectal cancer.
According to US National Institute of Cancer, up to 40% of cancer patients die not from
their cancers but from malnutrition resulting from this systemic metabolic disorder.
► Red or processed meat
Intake of these food sources are positively linked to increased colorectal cancer risk
although red meat appears to be more strongly linked to rectal cancer.
Cellular mutagens can come from deep-fried, grilled food, food preservatives and
pesticide residuals found in our food chain. Even fluoride and chlorine added to drinking
water have been found to be carcinogenic. It may be safer to drink filtered ionised
alkaline water at a pH appropriate for you.
► Whole grains
High consumption of whole grains is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, but,
unfortunately, not rectal cancer. On the other hand, refined starches such as white rice,
noodles, buns, bread, cornflakes, instant oat, and sugar are likely to have the opposite
Fish containing omega-3 fats with EPA/DHA can prevent development of colorectal
cancer and chronic inflammation. Omega-3 monounsaturated fats may also be found in
flax seed oil and in some nuts, and beans.
► Vegetables & spices
While vegetable oils (corn, sunflower) are easily oxidised to form carcinogenic free
radicals, virgin coconut oil is rather stable even when used in frying.
Nutrients in turmeric and onions reduce both the size and number of pre-cancerous
lesions and polyps in the human intestinal tract. Indeed, turmeric is able to stop or slow
cancer growth in all its three growth stages, from initiation to progression.
Aged garlic may reduce risk of colon cancer. Cruciferous vegetables that have been
shown to promote cancer cell apoptosis by the express-ion of p53 gene.
People who eat a diet high in fibre (10g daily of total dietary fibre) have a reduced risk of
developing colorectal cancer.
Milk and its products are linked to higher risk of colorectal cancer. Children who
consume high amounts of dairy products may have a greater risk of developing colon
cancer during adulthood.
► Berries & nuts
Berries (not fruits) can inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. Of 36 flavonoids tested,
myricetin was found to be the most potent inhibitor of MMP-2 enzyme responsible for
colon cancer metastasis (spread).
Rich sources of this phytonutrient include blueberries (2.66mg per 100g), blackberries
(0.67mg per 100g), cranberries (6.78mg per 100g) and red onions (2.7mg per 100g).
Raw organic walnut is a good source of this nutrient too.
Consumption of soy foods may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in post-menopausal
women. Extensive studies confirm the merits in replacing animal with soy protein in the
adjunct treatment of most cancer.
colon cancer,soy,food,berries and nuts, milk, Red or processed meat, Mutagens,
Fish, Milk, Vegetables & spices, Whole grains