ABOUT Colorectal Cancer - Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention
Colorectal cancer is the most common form of cancer in both men and women. It occurs when cells in the colon or rectum grow uncontrollably, disrupting blood supply and causing pain, ulceration, bleeding, weight loss, diarrhea, and constipation. Brain tumors are one of the most common cancers that arise from the same stem cells that give rise to colorectal cancers.
A 2015 study revealed that people who chew gum regularly have a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who do not chew gum at all. Conventional treatments for colorectal cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a host of other methods. All of these methods have several side effects, which can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include abdominal cramps, bloating, weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stools. These symptoms occur because the tumor is ripping apart the tissue of the colon or rectum.
Studies have shown that smell can influence one's susceptibility to cancer. For example, researchers at Monell Center in Philadelphia found that people with impaired smell are more likely to develop lung cancer after suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
They believe that smell loss impairs lung health and increases susceptibility to lung infections like pneumonia which increases the risk for cancer. Similarly, it may be possible that colorectal cancers develop in people who do not chew gum.
One conventional method of treatment for colorectal cancer is surgery. This method may involve the removal of the entire colon or rectum or the removal of just part of the colon.
An extensive operation like this is at high risk for complications, including problems with the abdominal cavity, blood loss, and even death. And because other organ systems often suffer as well, other types of treatment may be required.
A second conventional method of treatment for colorectal cancer is chemotherapy, which can include oral medications or intravenous infusions.
Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Side effects can be eliminated by using other drugs that use different mechanisms to inhibit cell growth (such as anti-angiogenic drugs)
Frequently Asked Questions on Colorectal Cancer
How common is it?
Colorectal cancer is the most common type of cancer in both men and women. It is equally prevalent in African American and Caucasian populations, although African Americans take a longer time to develop the disease. Colorectal cancers are also more common among individuals who have a family history of this disease or other cancers that affect the colon or rectum.
What is the relation between chewing gum and colorectal cancer?
A 2015 study revealed that individuals who chew gum regularly have a lower risk for developing colorectal cancer than those who do not chew gum at all. This study analyzed data from 2,066,826 people between the ages of 20 and 97.
The average age was 59 years old. Researchers found that the risk for colorectal cancer was 20% lower in individuals who chewed gum more than three times per week compared to those who did not chew gum at all. The researchers were correct in stating that the benefits are due to better mental health since chewing gum increases saliva flow which cleanses bacteria from your teeth area.
Can diet affect my Colorectal Cancer Risk?
A study involving mice found that those on a high-fat diet had an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
This may be because there is a chemical in red meat called arachidonic acid and this fat increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. But we do not know for certain how high fat intake affects colorectal cancer risk.
There has been some research conducted on the effects of diet on colorectal cancer risk by using retrospective epidemiological studies, case-control studies, etc. The results are ambiguous.
How can I Prevent Colorectal Cancer?
The most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Diet and exercise are known to reduce the risk of most cancers, but that's especially true for colorectal cancer.
And following a healthy diet means avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat (such as red meat, processed meats like hot dogs, and other processed foods) and avoiding sugary drinks like soda pop.
If you should develop colorectal cancer, there is hope. Research has shown that patients rarely die from their cancers when treatments are carefully planned out. One technique used to modify conventional treatments for colorectal cancer involves adding certain compounds to chemotherapy drugs' effectiveness.