The most encouraging news about colorectal cancer is that you can reduce
your risk by having regular screenings. You can also protect yourself by
making a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle. The following
suggestions may help save your life:
Eat plenty of
fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and
antioxidants, which may protect you from cancer. Try to eat five or
more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Look for deep
green and dark yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, such as Swiss
chard, bok choy, spinach, cantaloupe, mango, acorn or butternut
squash, and sweet potatoes, as well as vegetables from the cabbage
family, including broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Lycopene, a nutrient found in tomatoes, may provide some minimal
protection against cancer, but studies show that lycopene is helpful
only if consumed as part of the whole fruit, and is unlikely to be
beneficial when taken as a supplement. Also try to include legumes —
including peas and beans — and soy foods, such as tofu or soy milk,
in your diet.
especially saturated fat.
People who eat high-fat diets may have a higher rate of colorectal
cancer. Be especially careful to limit saturated fats from animal
sources such as red meat. Other foods that contain saturated fat
include milk, cheese, ice cream, and coconut and palm oils. Try to
restrict your total fat intake to less than 30 percent of your daily
calories, with no more than 10 percent coming from saturated fats.
recommended amounts of calcium and folic acid.
Calcium and the B vitamin, folic acid, may help reduce your risk of
colorectal cancer. Good food sources of calcium include skim or
low-fat milk and other dairy products, broccoli, kale and canned
salmon with the bones. Folate is the natural form of the B vitamin.
It's found in certain foods naturally, including dark leafy greens
such as spinach, and in pinto, kidney and navy beans, and some nuts
and seeds. Folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin, and it's
used in fortified breads, cereals, and supplements. Most multiple
vitamins also contain both calcium and folic acid. Eating foods rich
in calcium and folic acid can have added benefits for women. If you
are pregnant, or think you may become pregnant, getting enough folic
acid in your diet reduces the risk of certain birth defects. Calcium
also provides many benefits, including helping to prevent
Consuming moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol — more than one drink
a day for women and two for men — may increase your risk of colon
cancer. This is particularly true if you have a close relative, such
as a parent, child or sibling, with the disease.
Smoking can increase your risk of many different cancers. Talk to
your doctor about ways to quit that may work for you.
active and maintain a healthy body weight.
Controlling your weight alone can reduce your risk of colorectal
cancer. And staying physically active may cut your colon cancer risk
in half. Exercise stimulates movement through your bowel and reduces
the time your colon is exposed to harmful substances (carcinogens)
that may cause cancer. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on
most days. If you've been inactive, start slowly and build up
gradually to 30 minutes. Also, talk to your doctor before starting
any exercise program.
If you're a woman past menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may
reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. Women who use HRT have a somewhat
lower risk of colorectal cancer than women who don't use HRT. But not
all effects of HRT are positive. Taking HRT as a combination therapy —
estrogen plus progestin — can result in serious side effects and health
risks. Work with your doctor to discuss the options and decide what's
best for you.
Colon cancer may shrink tumors, extend lives
Aurelio Alleva has
advanced colon cancer, the kind that chemotherapy usually can't stop and
the kind that usually kills within a few months.
Dr Alleva gives him a new experimental drug called C225 the studies that
suggest could extend his life. I think the C225, more than anything else
is a way of giving you hope," Alleva said.
Zeroing in on cancer cells
Drugs like C225 are
different from conventional treatments because they are zero in cancer
cells. Chemotherapy and radiation, on the other hand are more of a
blasting approach. They blow away good cells along with the bad.
C225, delivered intravenously, works by limiting a cancer cell's access
to growth factor, where many cells survive. It makes the cancer cells
weaker and therefore more vulnerable to chemotherapy.
3 > 4
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