Do you know why colon cancer screening will probably never be questioned the same way prostate, thyroid, and even breast cancer screenings have been? Because colon cancer can be screened for and cured (at least the existing premalignant lesions/polyps) at the same time. Imagine receiving a breast, prostate, or thyroid biopsy and then having the doctors cure you or substantially reduce your risk of getting these cancers right then and there? It is my dream that most other cancer screenings will develop a tool or injectable product (drug/supplement) that will do the same thing.
When it comes to colon cancer prevention, there is no greater advice than, “Heart healthy = colon healthy.” The latest research on reducing the risk and progression of colon cancer through exercising and achieving a healthy weight along with other heart-healthy changes (diet, quitting smoking, and so on) is outstanding!
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon). The colon is the final part of the digestive tract.
Colon cancer typically affects older adults, though it can happen at any age. It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers.
Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.
If colon cancer develops, many treatments are available to help control it, including surgery, radiation therapy and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Colon cancer is sometimes called colorectal cancer, which is a term that combines colon cancer and rectal cancer, which begins in the rectum.
Colon Cancer Home Remedies
In people with a high risk of colon cancer, no supplement can beat it. A recent study showed that in individuals with a high genetic risk of colon cancer, such as Lynch syndrome patients, two aspirin per day (600 milligrams) compared to a placebo reduced the risk of colon cancer after taking it for more than 2 years. There was a 44 percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer in the aspirin group. And those who continued to take aspirin for 2 years or more saw a 63 percent reduction in risk. (Although aspirin comes from willow bark originally, there is no supplement—including white willow bark—that comes close to aspirin’s results.) Keep in mind very high doses of aspirin were used.
Even a baby aspirin (81 milligrams) every day or every other day appears to lower the risk of colon cancer in women and men, but you would need to use it for 5 to 10 years minimum to see a potential benefit. Doctors would probably feel more compelled to encourage baby aspirin use in an individual with a strong genetic/family history of gastrointestinal cancer or in someone who was previously treated for colon cancer. However, here comes the catch (because everything comes with a catch): Aspirin can worsen kidney and liver problems, and it increases the risk of ulcers and serious internal bleeding. This risk also increases with age.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
There’s a large Japanese trial under way looking at 2,700 milligrams of EPA (an omega-3 fatty acid) daily versus a placebo in people at higher risk of colon cancer. Stay tuned! In another study, high-risk individuals who took 2,000 milligrams of fish oil daily (in the form of free fatty acid EPA only) for 6 months had fewer and smaller polyps.
3. Red yeast rice
Red yeast rice, which people often take for high cholesterol, seems to be the dietary supplement with the most potential against cancer: In its largest cholesterol-lowering clinical trial, red yeast rice appeared to significantly lower the risk of dying from several cancers (see the High Cholesterol section). I am convinced that cholesterol- lowering drugs and supplements have some role in preventing aggressive polyp formation.
Do you suffer from Celiac Disease? What supplements can help you with Celiac Disease? Read this article to learn more in detail.Getting 20 to 30 grams per day from diet could improve both heart and colon health. If eating that much is difficult, it’s easy to add 5 to 10 grams in the form of a fiber powder, like psyllium or inulin.
5. Calcium and vitamin D
A normal daily intake of calcium and vitamin D might reduce the risk of colon polyps (and possibly even cancer). But calcium rarely needs to be supplemented with a pill today because it’s in so many fortified foods.
6. Vitamin C
New data from the Physicians’ Health Study II trial has found that vitamin C supplements could potentially lower colon cancer risk. Stay tuned.
What Supplements Are Useless For Treating Colon Cancer?
This is the most promising supplement for colon cancer prevention according to some “experts,” but it hasn’t been tested in enough well-done clinical trials, even though it has shown an anti- inflammatory effect in the laboratory.
The Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study (AFPPS) was perhaps one of the best randomized clinical trials to look at aspirin and also folic acid in people with a history of colon polyps. The US study required that each participant have a complete colonoscopy and removal of all known polyps within 3 months of enrolling in the study.
Investigators found that a daily baby aspirin (81 milligrams) reduced the risk of colon polyps, but folic acid (1 milligram per day) did not work better than a placebo and was even associated with a higher risk of having three or more polyps and possibly with an increased risk of other cancers (primarily prostate cancer).
This still needs more research, but overall it seems that folic acid supplements do not lower the risk of colon cancer. Plus, people in the United States and Canada already get plenty of folate or folic acid from fortified foods (like breakfast cereals), multivitamins, and vegetables. Taking more just doesn’t make sense for most people.