Colon Cancer Awareness Month: Schedule Your Screening
In our efforts to acknowledge and support Colon Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to discuss that doctors are unclear as to what directly causes cancer of the colon beyond identifying cell abnormalities that clump together causing noncancerous adenomatous polyps and/or tumors in the final portion of the digestive tract. Colorectal cancer represented 8% of new cancer patients in the U.S. last year. In 2017, this percentage was an estimated 135.4k new cases and 50.2k deaths.
While it may be extremely difficult to determine what causes colon cancer, researchers and doctors suggest that DNA (hereditary factors) and dietary habits (specifically, those high in fat and low in fiber) can greatly increase the risk of developing colon cancer with men (46%) at a higher rate than women (35%). These risks are even higher in persons with a family history of colon cancer or rectal cancer. Screening should commence at age 50 for persons with no family history or symptoms of colorectal cancer and as early as age 30 for persons that have a family history and/or other contributing risk factors.
Prevention and Treatment
Dr. Olga Obie urges everyone to take more control of their health by knowing their family health history to help inform/guide both self and doctor’s diagnosis, preventing sickness and disease through healthy, organic eating, and focusing on preventative self-care. With this, the American Institute for Cancer Research states that small choices in our daily eating and activity habits could prevent nearly half the new cases of colon cancer each year. Age, weight, and excessive body fat increase risk. In addition, it is recommended to limit alcohol and red meat intake while avoiding processed meats altogether. Foods that contain garlic and that are high in fiber have been shown to reduce dietary risks; 10g of fiber per day reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 10%. Being active for 30 minutes per day also helps reduce risks while improving weight and mood hormonal balance.
Treatments for colon cancer are extensive, ranging from minimally invasive surgery to remove cancerous polyps from the colon wall for early-stage detection, to partial colectomy and radiation/chemotherapy for more advanced and invasive cases of colon cancer. Most often, a combination of surgery and radiation/chemotherapy occurs. However, overall health condition may complicate and/or limit options for treatment. The most important prevention factors are the easiest: prevention and early detection. A healthy lifestyle with proper diet, fitness and health screening routines can prevent a great deal of sickness and disease.
Cannabis As A Treatment
The National Cancer Institute has demonstrated in mice studies that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation. This suggests phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be very useful at preventing and treating colorectal cancer. At James Henry SF, we truly believe that cannabis should be considered as a primary treatment option for all cancer patients.
Those individuals that have had to support and celebrate family, friends & loved ones battling traditional radiation and chemotherapy treatments will attest to the harsh side effects of treatment options for cancer patients. These harsh treatments sometimes can’t be avoided but in other cases, radiation and chemotherapy can be either avoided altogether or supplemented with cannabis (under a qualified physician’s guidance that understands cannabinoid therapies) to help reduce harsh side effects of nausea, pain, appetite loss and more. Cannabis treatment can also simultaneously destroy tumor cells with THC, repair and build healthy new cells with CBD, and improve the overall quality of healing with its naturally bioavailable compounds. James Henry SF implores all of our patients, consumers and readers to consult informed physicians on cannabinoid therapy as an effective treatment against cancer and other medical concerns. Remember to schedule your screening today!