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COLORECTAL CANCER

The incidence of colorectal cancer in western countries ranks second only to cancer of the lung. It is unusual to see this malignancy before the age of 40 in both men and women and the incidence reaches its peak between the ages of 75 and 80 years. 50 per cent of large bowel malignancies occur within 12 inches of the anus. The most common presentation in such instances is the passage of blood with the bowel motions. In spite of the presence of hemorrhoids, a doctor must check for cancer of the colon in all cases of anal bleeding. It is worth repeating “If a doctor doesn’t put his finger in it, he puts his foot in it”.
Surgery is still the mainstay of colorectal cancer treatment. Radiotherapy has a growing role and anticancer drugs have yet to prove a spectacular success. Survival from colorectal cancer depends on the extent to which the cancer has spread before therapeutic intervention. Almost 80 percent of colorectal cancer victims will survive, if the cancer limits itself to the inside of the bowel wall at operation. This percentage falls as the tumour spreads through the bowel into the lymphatic system, the venous circulation and the peritoneal cavity outside the bowel walls.
Current opinion favours the argument that nearly all forms of bowel cancer start as small growths on the inner surface of the bowel wall. The promising implication of this point of view is that deaths from cancer of the colon are entirely preventable – if investigation and diagnosis take place early enough. The question as to what age constitutes the first time everybody in western society needs to undergo their initial screening colonoscopy remains unanswered.

Home Remedies
A high incidence of colorectal cancer occurs in societies where high fat, low fibre diets are prevalent. One study has found a positive association between high cholesterol and colorectal cancer. Another report found that a higher frequency of pre malignant growths in the colon correlated with a high serum cholesterol.
A low fibre intake makes two contributions to cancer of the large bowel. Firstly, a low faecal bulk means cancer forming chemicals reach higher concentrations in contact with the inner bowel wall. Secondly, it means that cancer forming chemicals travel through the bowel slowly.
High fibre, low cholesterol diets not only protect from heart disease and cancer of the breast but they also protect from cancer of the colon as well.

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