Colorectal cancer is known to be the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. It is known as food-related cancer, as everything that we eat can either help prevent cancer or create the perfect environment for it. Find out more about colorectal cancer, as well as how to prevent it and help treat it with natural remedies for colorectal cancer!
About Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth found in the colon (rectum) or in the appendix. It is also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer. The cancerous cells are first produced in the bowel; if left untreated, they spread to the muscle layers found underneath and then to the bowel, penetrating its wall.
Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding and anemia. However, these might not seem like clear signs of colorectal cancer: anemia might have various causes, while rectal bleeding might be caused by hemorrhoids. In this case, other symptoms play an important role; this includes nausea or vomiting, constantly worsening constipation, blood in the stool, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
An obstruction might be a sign of colorectal cancer, as well – this means a rectal mass that becomes too large prevents the normal passage of stool. This will cause constipation and pain during bowel movements, as well as abdominal cramps. Also, the stool will be really narrow in size. Plus, another sign of colorectal cancer could be the sensation that you have not completely eliminated everything after bowel movements.
Colorectal cancer can easily be diagnosed through a tumor biopsy, which is usually done during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Then, to check the extent of the disease, it is recommended to do a CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The stage of the disease is done through a TNM cancer staging system, which determines how much the tumor has spread, as well as if there are lymph nodules or metastases.
The causes of colorectal cancer differ from one person to another. Common causes include older age, obesity, smoking, a high intake of fats, alcohol, and/or red meat, and lack of physical exercise. Also, it appears that men are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer than women. Those who have inflammatory bowel disease (Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis) have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, as well as those with a family history of colorectal cancer.
Prevention and Treatment
In order to prevent colorectal cancer, it’s important to pay attention to the things we eat and drink. You should eat less red meat and more fruits and vegetables. It’s also recommended to choose whole grains over processed grains, stop smoking, and drink less alcohol. Of course, don’t forget to drink lots of water!
Physical activity – or lack thereof – plays an important role when it comes to colorectal cancer. It was discovered that people who exercise more reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer. Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise on five or more days per week.
If you know you’re at a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (either genetically or because of inflammatory bowel diseases), you should take medication that will lower this risk. Usually, aspirin and celecoxib are recommended in this case. However, you should not take them if you are not at a high risk of getting this type of cancer.
If you’re at the stage where you actually need treatment, you should know first that treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the patient’s health and the stage of cancer. If it is discovered in its early stage, colorectal cancer can be cured through surgery. If it is found in later stages (especially with metastases), the recommended treatment is palliation, in order to relieve symptoms of cancer. Chemotherapy might also be recommended when it comes to treating colorectal cancer.
Natural Remedies for Colorectal Cancer
Treating colorectal cancer through natural remedies, regardless of the stage of cancer, might not lead to the best results: it is quite difficult to completely treat cancer through natural methods. However, you can alleviate symptoms of cancer or slow down the process.
It appears that a high intake of vitamin D, vitamin B9 (folate), and quercetin are linked to reducing the risk of getting colorectal cancer. You can get all three naturally from various fruits and vegetables. You can get vitamin D from eggs, cow milk, mushrooms, sardines, and fish (herring, salmon, mackerel). Folate can be found in spinach, asparagus, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and fortified cereals. Last, you can get a high amount of quercetin by eating onions, apples, and berries.
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants are also recommended if you’ve got colorectal cancer. If you’ve got low antioxidant levels, it means that your body becomes the perfect environment for cancer. To prevent this, eat colorful fruits (berries, pomegranates, apricots, avocado, grapes) and vegetables (carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, red cabbage).
Foods rich in selenium are also a great choice, as selenium inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells and even promotes their death. Make sure you eat garlic, onion, mushrooms lots of fish (sardines, salmon, tuna), and whole grains (wheat germ, brown rice). Fish is definitely a must, as you get a high amount of omega-3 oils, as well.
Although both were already mentioned, garlic and onions deserve a paragraph of their own, as they are extremely beneficial to the colon. Both contain various phytochemicals (allicin) and flavonoids that help detoxify the colon, getting rid of bacteria, parasites, and harmful chemicals. Consumption also helps reduce inflammation, shrink tumors, prevent the formation of more cancer cells and promote the death of cancer cells.
Drinking tea has its benefits, as well. White tea and nettle tea are known to help prevent the appearance of colorectal cancer. Green tea is also recommended, as it can help during the treatment. Chickweed tea helps prevent, as well as treat colon cancer, as it relieves inflammation and slows down the growth of colon polyps. Red clover tea and rosemary tea helps detoxify the body and therefore remove cancer-causing substances. Other teas that can help with colorectal cancer are cardamon tea, psyllium tea, wheatgrass tea, chaste berry tea, ginseng tea, Ceylon tea, ginger tea, parsley tea, oregano tea, and basil tea.
Use a lot of olive oil when you’re cooking, as it is known to have anti-cancer properties. Also, use spices and herbs (garlic, rosemary, ginger, peppermint, sage, thyme, parsley, basil), though remember that it’s better to eat than fresh and uncooked. If they are cooked, they become less beneficial, as they lose many of their properties.
In order to make sure you won’t get any side effects, it’s important to check with your doctor and see if it’s safe to take these natural remedies for colorectal cancer. Based on other health problems and/or medication you might be taking, the effects of the remedies might be lost or the plants might interfere and lead to side effects.
Also, don’t forget to check for any allergies. If you don’t know whether you’re allergic to a particular plant, yet you’re consuming it, watch out for common symptoms of allergic reactions: swelling of the lips and tongue, skin rashes, and difficulty in breathing. If you notice you’ve got some of these symptoms, stop consuming that particular plant and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Lastly, don’t forget: these natural remedies for colorectal cancer aren’t meant to cure cancer. However, they still play an important role when it comes to preventing or promoting the treatment of colorectal cancer, especially as they are all-natural.