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Colon cancer prevention 101

Written by Community Health Network on 3/24/2014 1:00:00 PM

Roughly 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. But preventing the cancer is easy.

Community Physician Network gastroenterologist, Dr. Ninad Shah, shares easy ways you can help decrease your colon cancer risk.

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Colon cancer rates drop due to screenings

Written by Community Health Network on 3/17/2014 12:20:00 PM

According to a report published in Cancer, colon cancer rates have fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over age 50.

"This is one of the great public health success stories of the decade," says Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, whose researchers wrote the report, published on Monday. 

The reason for the drop in cancer rate? Preventive screenings

Screening rates have climbed in recent years. The number of Americans ages 50 to 64 who have had a colonoscopy has nearly tripled, growing from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010.

Use of colonoscopy also rose among those age 65 and over, growing from 55 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2010, according to the new report. 

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer society estimates that 136,830 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year and that 50,310 will die from it.

"Screening colonoscopies provide a very important way to decrease these statistics," said Dr. Ninad Shah, gastroenterologist with Community Physician Network. "We know that colon cancer develops from colon polyps. During a colonoscopy we look at the walls of the colon for polyps. By removing any colon polyps we remove the tissue that can develop into colon cancer."

Schedule a colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is the most thorough test for colorectal cancer. If you are over the age of 50, schedule a colonoscopy by calling 800-777-7775.

7 easy ways to prevent colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/13/2014 7:00:00 AM

Cancer and nutrition experts say that more than 50 percent of colorectal cancers are preventable by combining a diet that includes fiber with daily physical activity and weight management. Try these easy diet and nutrition tips to protect yourself against colon cancer.

Eat fiber to help prevent colon cancerEat more fiber.
Just 10 grams of fiber a day can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer by 10 percent. You'll find fiber in whole grain breads, cereals, oatmeal and beans.

Eating fruits and veggies can help prevent colorectal cancerPile on the produce.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try deep green/cruciferous veggies and red and orange fruits.

Limit processed and red meats.
Try fish and meatless meals that include beans for protein.

Drink in moderation.
More than one drink for women or two drinks for men per day increases colon cancer risk by 14 percent.

Keep an eye on the scale.
Your risk for colon cancer increases if you are overweight. Be sure to check your body mass index (BMI). You can consult your physician or a nutritionist for help calculating that number.

Get moving.
Try to include at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. This will help you maintain a healthy weight, which can decrease your cancer risk.

Quit smoking.
The health risks far outweigh the benefits. Quitting smoking will help decrease your risk for colon, and many other cancers. Take steps to quit today!

Tags: diet , fiber , red meat , risk factors , smoking | Posted in: Colon Cancer

Eating fiber-rich foods reduces risk for colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/2/2014 8:00:00 AM

The American Institute for Cancer Research states that eating a diet high in fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily, the risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer is reduced by up to 10 percent.

So, how much fiber should you eat each day?
The daily recommendation for men ages 19 to 50 is 38 grams of fiber per day. For those men over the age of 50, it’s at least 30 grams daily. For women ages 19 to 50, the recommendation is around 30 grams. The daily amount for women over age 50 is as low as 25 grams.

Doesn't seem like much, right? Yet, American adults average only 15.7 to 17 grams of fiber per day.

What foods are high in fiber?
If you are looking for fiber-rich foods, focus on plants (fruits and veggies) and whole grains. Another way to get more fiber is to cut back on eating red meat and focus on eating small portions of lamb or pork instead.

Are there different types of fiber?
Yes, there are two: insoluble and soluble. Eating both types is important to maintain good digestive health.

Insoluble fiber helps move the food through the digestive system more quickly, cutting your risk for colon cancer. Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat, bran, nuts and many vegetables.

Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These foods include, oats, peas, apples, beans and citrus fruits.

To properly maintain your digestive health, gradually introduce the recommended fiber levels to you body. This will help your digestive system adapt. Start simple by filling two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts and no more than one-third with animal protein such as poultry or lean red meat.

Need help with your diet?

For help developing a fiber-rich diet, contact a nutritionist at Community Health Network.

Tags: diet , digestive health , fiber | Posted in: Colon Cancer

Five ways to prevent colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/1/2014 11:00:00 AM

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The third most common cancer among men and women in the United States, cancer and nutrition experts say over 50 percent of colorectal cancers are preventable by combining a diet that includes fiber with daily physical activity and weight management.

In 2013, the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund co-published five steps based on scientific studies that demonstrate risk reduction. Consider these nutrition-centered strategies for getting extra protection from colon cancer.

For every 10 grams of dietary fiber you eat each day, your risk for developing colorectal cancer is reduced by 10 percent.
High-fiber diets encourage the growth of healthy types of intestinal bacteria that protects against cancer cell development. High-fiber food ideas: whole grain breads, bean soups and stews, nuts for snacks, vegetables and fruits, add ground flaxseed to your smoothies and cereals.

Cut calories and focus on reducing your waist circumference.
The deep fat in the abdomen poses the most risk and the fat is linked to inflammation and changes in insulin. Tip: Swap less healthy foods for healthier ones and drink more water, seltzer, tea or coffee instead of sugary sodas, sweet tea or specialty coffee drinks. Try not to reach for food when you are relaxing, instead take a walk, listen to music or read a book.

Drinking excess alcohol (more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks per day for men) increases colon cancer risk by 14 percent.
Tip: Watch the size of your glass. They tend to be bigger and hold more ounces than you may realize.

Limiting processed meats and read meats (beef, lamb and pork) to 18 ounces a week.
(Each 3.5-ounce portion of red meat eaten daily increases colorectal cancer risk by 17 percent.) Tip: Swap out processed deli meats for fish. Also try meatless meals, but those that include beans.

Four types of foods show colon cancer fighting potential: Garlic, calcium-fortified foods like milk, deep green and cruciferous vegetables, and red and orange fruits.
Tip: Fill half of your plate first with vegetables and fruits that will automatically leave less space for the meats and starches.

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