Cancer is a deadly disease caused by limitless cell growth. Likewise, when the cells in the large intestine grow in an uncontrolled way, it leads to colon cancer. In most instances, colon cancer originates from small noncancerous tumours (adenomatous polyps) that form on the large intestine's inner walls.
Some of these polyps may grow into colon cancers over a period of time if they are not removed during the treatment procedure looking at the intestine's inner lining (colonoscopy). Colon cancer cells damage healthy tissues causing several complications for the health.
Colon cancer can be caused by a variety of factors like gene, age, diet and medical conditions. Diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, stool disorder, etc. are the common symptoms of colon cancer.
How to prevent colon cancer:
You cannot do anything about your gene and age but you can certainly do a lot about your dietary habit and lifestyle. Experts say that a proper diet and lifestyle can reduce the chance of colon cancer by about 70 per cent.
Here are 8 foods that you must add to your diet to ensure that the dreaded colon cancer is kept at bay:
Turmeric or Doctor Spice comes handy in preventing colon cancer. It's anti-inflammatory properties prevent growth of tumour and neutralise carcinogens before they can damage the cell DNA. It also helps in repairing damaged cells. Use more turmeric powder in your food.
Though there are debates on this, yet a daily dose of no less than 15 grams of fibre is prescribed by specialists to prevent colon cancer. Since fibre smoothens the digestion process, it flushes out carcinogenic substances that tend to remain in the gut.
Fibre is also digested in the gut and compounds are formed that guard against carcinogenic bile acid that is also produced during the digestive process. Whole grains, legumes, brown rice, nuts, seeds, etc. should be consumed adequately.
Folate is a vitamin B which protects the cell DNA from damage. A Harvard University study has said that those who consume more than 400 mcg of folate daily reduce the risk by more than 52 per cent. And this is for people with a family history of colon cancer.
For those who don't have such family history, folate is equally helpful. Orange juice, fortified cereals, fruits and vegetables besides dark leafy greens or legumes should be consumed regularly.
4. Garlic and onion:
Sulfides in garlic and onion clear the carcinogens and force destruction of cancer cells. One or two cloves of garlic a week reduce the possibility of colon cancer by 32 per cent. Consumption of onion also reduces the risk of colon cancer between 30 and 50 per cent, says a study.
5. Low-fat skimmed milk:
Besides helping your bones and mind, milk also helps in protecting you from colon cancer. Drink at least a cup of milk a day. Drink a minimum of 250 ml milk a day.
Tea compounds neutralize carcinogenic substances and arrest the growth of cancer cells and force destruction of cancer cells. Taking two or more cups of tea daily is likely to reduce colon cancer by 30 per cent. Green tea is considered to be more helpful than black tea because of its greater antioxidant compound content.
Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc. are very effective in fighting cancer by flushing out the carcinogenic substances. Eat cruciferous vegetables daily.
8. Fish and chicken:
If you can't have red meat as it is believed to cause colon cancer, fish and chicken could be the best alternative. You should have at least 300 grams of fish in a week to reduce the possibility of colon cancer by 30 per cent.
Pick fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acids in fishes reduce inflammation in the gut to a great extent. Chicken is also helpful in preventing colon cancer.