Archive for the ‘Reduce Cancer Risk’ Category
A MUST FOR PREVENTION:
I see people regularly in my practice that are over the age of 50 and have not yet had their colonoscopy screening. When I ask them why, they tell me that they don’t have any family history of colon cancer, or they have no bowel problems, or they are afraid of having cancer, or even that they simply mistrust the medical community – this is happening more frequently. Most of them have been asked by their Primary Care Doctors to have the screening test done, but it seems it was never properly explained to them WHY. I find that patient compliance is directly related to understanding WHY.
So… here is WHY:
First let me say that Colonoscopy is disease surveillance. Surveillance is necessary because colon cancer is silent and is often detected early via colonoscopy. Please also know that there are many ways to prevent colon cancer. One of the most important and easiest ways to lower your colon cancer risk is to optimize your vitamin D level. A vitamin D levels can be checked by a simple blood test. If you are deficient or less than optimal, you can increase your level of Vitamin D by either spending more daily time in the sun or by oral daily supplementation. It is important to monitor your Vitamin D level by getting tested every 6-12 months if taking high doses (above 2000iu) of orally supplemented Vitamin D3.
So… here is WHY having a screening Colonoscopy is so important:
- Colon cancer is very slow growing and can be seen early by colonoscopy
- By having a screening colonoscopy, changes in the colon can be detected before a cancer is formed. If these changes are detected early, the small precancerous growth(s) can be removed at the time of the screening procedure without additional intervention. Or if cancer is detected it can often be treated effectively.
- There are likely NO symptoms of colon cancer until the growth is large enough to cause complications and even death. Colonoscopy is a tool that is used to visualize these changes, thus allowing for early intervention of treatment.
- Screening Colonoscopy saves MANY lives.
Talk to your doctor about when you should have your screening colonoscopy. When you have your colonoscopy is determined by your age, your family history, general state of health and any symptoms you might be having, Signs and Symptoms that you experience that need to be evaluated by a physician and may require a colonoscopy.
- Change in bowel habits for more than a few weeks – constipation (less than three stools per week), diarrhea, thin stools
- Abdominal pain with bowel movement
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Sensation that you “still” need to go after having a bowel movement
- Persistent cramps, gas, pain
- Iron deficiency anemia in a male or non-menstruating female
- Unexplained weight-loss
There are typically NO signs or symptoms in early colon cancer, which is why colonoscopy is ESSENTIAL. Pap Smears are necessary to diagnose “silent” cervical cancer, as colonoscopies are necessary to detect “silent” colon cancers. Both cancers are highly preventable and treatable.
Prevention strategies include drinking plenty of fresh clean water, eating whole fresh food, appropriate exercise, stress reduction and restorative sleep. In an earlier post you will find a list of “great” healthy foods. Try to have your diet consist primarily of the these foods to lower your risk of all disease.
Broccoli may reduce cancer risk!
But what if you don’t like broccoli?
Johns Hopkins University and many other academic institutions have been studying the anti-cancer effects of broccoli. The active ingredient in cruciferous vegetables that is thought to have these anti-cancer properties is Sulforaphane. The studies show that Sulforapahne may boost cell enzymes that protect it against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals. Sulforaphane had also been shown to mobilize natural cancer protection resources, thus reducing the risk of malignancy.
Broccoli (as compared to other cruciferous vegetables) has a particularly powerful type of sulforaphane, which the researchers believe gives broccoli, its particular cancer-fighting properties. It appears that broccoli contains the necessary ingredients to switch ON genes that prevent cancer development, and switch OFF other ones that help it spread.
What might be Even Better Than Broccoli?
- Small quantities of fresh broccoli sprouts contain as much cancer protection as larger amounts of the mature vegetables, according to previous research at Johns Hopkins University. These sprouts are sold in food markets or can be grown at home.
- Just 5 grams (0.17 ounces) of sprouts contain concentrations of the compound glucoraphanin (a precursor to sulforaphane) equal to that found in 150 grams (5.2 ounces) of mature broccoli.
- You can grow broccoli sprouts at home quite easily and inexpensively, and as you can see, a small amount of spouts go a long way. Another major benefit is that the sprouts don’t smell since you don’t have to cook them. They are eaten raw, usually as an addition to salad.
Below are a few recommendations for how to reduce your risk of developing cancer:
- Optimize your Vitamin D level with appropriate sun exposure or nutritional supplementation. It is best to monitor your Vitamin D level with a simple blood test ordered by your doctor.
- Control your insulin levels. Make certain that you limit your intake of processed foods, and eat an abundance of whole fresh foods.
- Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
- Get appropriate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil, and reduce your intake of omega-6 oils.
- Consume freshly ground flaxseeds and raw almonds daily.
- Consume fresh vegetable juice daily – including one small tomato (lycopene).
- Eliminate sugar as much as possible as it’s been shown again and again that sugar feeds cancer.
- Eat broccoli sprouts, cauliflower sprouts, and brussel sprouts. Or take a sulforaphane nutritional supplement daily. This can be found on the www.AgeExpert.com website as “ChemoProtect 1 EP”
- Practice Stress management and stress reduction techniques
- Get enough high-quality sleep
- Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins and sources of heavy metals.
- Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling