Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, has enough symptoms to be able to detect it early, but only if you know what they are!
Abnormal growths called polyps can form in the colon or rectum during the first stages of colorectal cancer. Often, these polyps are non-cancerous. They are found on the inner lining of your colon or rectum.
A tumour may begin to grow from here, made up of non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tissue. However, a polyp can remain the same, and not become cancerous or grow into a tumour!
There are two types of polyp:
- Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps. Cancer does not normally form on this type.
- Adenomatous polyps (adenomas). These polyps have the potential to become cancerous.
Another pre-cancerous condition is dysplasia. When cells are taken from the colon or rectum of a person with dysplasia, they look abnormal (though not cancerous). They may become cancerous over time. Dysplasia is commonly seen in patients that have had Crohn’s disease, colitis or other diseases that cause long-term inflammation in the colon and/or rectum.
Many colorectal cancers develop slowly over several years, so the key to detecting it early to is remain attentive. It may seem gross to some people, but one of the best ways to do this is to check your stools before your flush. Make sure there isn’t anything unusual in the toilet bowl, and look out for the following symptoms, too.
Symptoms to watch out for
The following symptoms appear when you have colorectal cancer:
- Changes in toilet habits – maybe you have constipation, diarrhoea, thinner stools or other changes that last for more than just a couple of days.
- Feeling that you need to go, but experiencing the same feeling after you’ve gone.
- Blood in the toilet after you’ve been, and/or coming from your rectum. Blood in the stool may cause it to look darker.
- Weakness, fatigue and weight loss (though you may be eating normally).
The weakness and fatigue is often caused by the blood loss, which leads to anaemia. However, please note that a lot of the symptoms above could also be signs you have a different problem, like IBS or haemorrhoids. See your doctor to be sure.
How can you prevent colon cancer?
Doctors recommend we get screened regularly in order to prevent colorectal cancer. This is an intelligent move – especially if you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above. However, people who are interested in maintaining a high state of health – a state that cannot allow cancer to develop, might be interested in how to prevent cancer cells from forming in the first place.
Studies show that cancer cells thrive in an anaerobic environment. Get plenty of oxygen into your body by drinking lots of water, getting regular exercise and eat lots of fresh, organic fruit and veggies.
Reduce the quantity of red meat you eat, and cut out processed meats. Replace them with healthy fish meals, organic chicken, nuts and seeds (but do try to make more of your meals vegetarian or vegan). Detox at least twice a year, to get out any substances that are carcinogenic from your system.
Next, you’ll want to make sure your diet is super nutrient-rich. This means your body has all the fuel it needs to fight off pathogens of all kinds, and keep cancer cells at bay permanently. Make green juices or smoothies every day, explore the types of fats you’re putting in your body daily and look into supplements like maca, spirulina and bee pollen. Natural supplements are always better than synthetic ones.
So once you are getting enough water, fibre-rich foods like salads and smoothies and doing some exercise, you will be creating the perfect environment inside your colon. Staying hydrated helps your body move wastes through quickly, and the vegetable fibre softens and moistens your stools. The movements involved in exercise gently help everything move along nicely, so you’ll go more often.
One final tip: buy some oxygen tablets designed to help cleanse the colon. These are a nice choice for your detoxes or for a nice pick-me-up once a month or so. They really work and will help you stay super healthy and may help prevent colorectal cancer.