Recently, the effort to help prevent colon cancer has suffered a multitude of setbacks. Experts have long promoted a diet high in fiber to help prevent the disease but although it is still recommended for a healthy lifestyle recent studies have shown it does little to ward off cancer. Contrary to some beliefs, the use of both Calcium and vitamin D supplements are also in doubt.
Diets low in fat will always be considered healthy but studies have also shown that they make no impact on the probability of developing colon cancer. Exercise has even been questioned.
So what can be done to prevent you from developing the disease? Well just because recent studies have found against certain preventative measures it doesn’t mean they aren’t worth doing. For instance, having a poor diet, being overweight, smoking, eating a lot of red meat, not eating vegetables and not undertaking any exercise can all independently increase the risks you run of eventually developing colon cancer. Therefore, if you do the opposite of these behaviors it is common sense that you will lower your risk.
Following a sensible diet and exercising frequently can also ward off a host of other diseases. So even if a study shows it may not help with a particular illness you shouldn’t pay too much heed to it. The study that looked at the Vitamin D and Calcium intake is of particular interest here. 18,000 women were included in the research and it was noted that after 7 years the risk of colon cancer was more or less the same as that in women who didn’t take the supplements.
However, it is worth noting that the women in the study were at a lower risk of the disease in the first place which would have made it hard to detect any positive effects from the supplementation. It is also worth noting that colon cancer can remain latent for up to 20 years so a longer monitoring period may be beneficial.
It seems that researchers have in depth knowledge of what increases the risk of colon cancer but they are still debating what lowers the risk. Experts have always promoted a healthy diet, one low in fat and red meat and high in fiber, but now there are studies that show this doesn’t make much of a difference. Doctors all agree though that there is one preventative method that is extremely effective in the fight against colon cancer and that is screening for the disease.
It is recommended that men and women over the age of 50 should undergo a colonoscopy every 5 years. If there is a history of colon cancer in your family, a colonoscopy can help to detect pre cancerous legions and they can be safely removed before they cause any harm.