When a well-known celebrity shares what they have been going through, be it depression or an illness of some description, it can often be a good reminder for us all to become more aware of our own health issues.
If you feel something is not right in your body…do something about it.
Whether that means cleaning up your diet to help alleviate symptoms, visiting a Nutritionist to get professional help or booking an appointment with your GP to discuss your worries. Whatever it is, take action. Don’t just sit and do nothing.
Colon cancer is a very treatable condition and caught early enough a lot can be done.
So, what are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
Weakness or fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they'll likely vary, depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.
Numerous studies have indicated that a diet too rich in red meat, especially processed meats, is associated with a heightened risk of colorectal cancer. Individuals who eat red meat alongside eggs, cheese, and other fatty foods, as well as refined starches, on a frequent basis had an almost twice the risk of developing rectal or colon cancer than those who favoured a plant-based diet.
According to research, a 50-gram portion of processed meat, such as bacon or salami, eaten every day increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
How can we best prevent bowel cancer?
Eat a healthy high-fibre diet Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, and reducing saturated fats (in animal products, processed foods and takeaway). There is strong evidence the eating fibre can help prevent bowel cancer by reducing the risk of problems such as constipation and inflammation of the bowel wall. I would recommend at least 4 servings of fruits, 8 servings of vegetables, and one small portion of wholegrain foods with each meal. Think rainbow colours on your plate with every dish!
Engage in regular physical activity There is strong evidence that exercise cuts the risk or bowel cancer and polyps, and a sedentary lifestyle increases it. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, five or more days a week.
Don’t smoke Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop bowel cancer, and even more likely to die from the disease.
Maintain a healthy body weight Obesity is linked to bowel cancer, especially in men. And the evidence points to abdominal obesity (or belly fat) as a key factor. Maintaining a healthy body weight, for both men and women, also reduces the risk of a number of other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
Drink alcohol in moderation Heavy drinking may increase risk of bowel cancer. If you do drink, one standard drink per day for women, two standards drink per day for men is the government guideline. I think everyone should have Monday to Thursday as a no alcohol zone!
Drinking plenty of fluids Detox teas are a great addition to anyone’s diet as they help to cleanse the liver and keep the body in a constant state of flow. Good hydration also helps with regular bowel movements, which is essential when it comes to Colon health. Dandelion, nettle, lemon grass, ginger, licorice root are all easy and simple teas that are good for keeping your digestive system happy. Drink at least 4 cups per day.