Colon cancer: Symptoms, Diet and Treatment


Colon cancer is a cancer from uncontrolled cell growth in the colon. Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the US and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Anyone can get colon cancer but it is more common in people over 50 years. This is why regular screening beginning at 50 is an important investment in your healthy future.  Below you will find some important information about Symptoms, Diet and Treatment for Colon cancer.

Symptoms: Colon cancer symptoms aren’t always obvious, but you can learn what these symptoms look and feel like, include:

* A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or passing stools more frequently than usual abdominal pain.

* Bright red or dark red blood in your stools or black, dark colored, “tarry” stools. Note: oreo or other foods may cause black stools.

* Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.

* A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.

* Rectal pain: Pain rarely occurs with colon cancer and usually indicates a bulky tumor in the rectum that may invade surrounding tissue.

* Unexplained weight loss, weakness or fatigue.

If you notice any symptoms of colon cancer, such as blood in your stool or a persistent change in bowel habits, make an appointment with your doctor.

Diet: Diet is considered a determinant of increased risk in the development of colon cancer. For people with colon cancer, diet is an important consideration — especially during treatment. By including some foods below into your diet can really help in cleansing your colon and improving the intestine functions, and thus can help fight colon cancer:

Salmon – Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial for neuropathy and appetite in cancer patients, salmon is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to protect against cancers like colon cancer.

Spinach – Spinach contains beta carotene, a powerful antioxidants that can help fight cancer by protecting your body against free radicals. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer found that people who ate foods rich in beta carotene once a day had a 24 percent lower risk of colon cancer than people who ate less.

Legumes – Legumes are high in fiber, an ingredient that is thought to reduce the risk of colon cancer. A study in California found that eating legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, and peas, three times a week reduces the risk of colon cancer by 33 percent.

Garlic – Garlic contains many anti-cancer properties such as quercetin, allicin and allyl sulfur.

Almonds – Almonds are extremely rich in fiber, which are great agents for cleansing your gastrointestinal tract, thereby increasing your chance of evading colon cancer.

During treatment, diet is dictated to a great extent by the side effects a patient experiences. For instance, to alleviate diarrhea, patients should drink clear liquids, eat low fiber, low fat foods, and avoid heavy, greasy foods, raw fruits and vegetables, strong spices, and caffeine; to alleviate gas, patients should eat slowly, use a straw and drink out of a glass instead of a bottle. After treatment, the first few days after surgery, patient will be given nutrition through an IV drip. Once the IV is removed, a colon cancer diet after surgery would include a diet of juices and broths, as these are easy to digest. Foods to avoid at this stage include skin/peels of fruits, raw vegetables, any dairy products, beans, peas, fatty and fried foods, high fiber grains, and sweets. It is important to carefully follow the doctor or dietician’s instructions and advice.

Treatment: The three primary treatment options are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Surgery – Surgery (removing the cancer in an operation) is the most common treatment for all stages of colon cancer. Treatment usually involves one of the following: Polypectomy or local excision to remove the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue, or more extensive surgery (resection) to remove larger colon cancers.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy is sometimes recommended for stage 2 colon cancer, and usually recommended for stage 3 and stage 4 colon cancer.

Radiation – The word “radiation” doesn’t seem to belong with “therapy.” We tend to think of radiation as something to avoid at all costs. Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.

More detailed information on the treatment of colon cancer, you can check them out here:

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