My husband received the All Clear today! 41,000 people a year in the UK aren't so lucky.
'95 of 100 bowel cancers are diagnosed in people of 50 or over' states Cancer Research UK. And therefore Bowel (or Colorectal) Cancer is thought of as being an 'older person's' disease.
But Cancer Reasearch UK believes that many Bowel Cancers could be prevented with changes in Diet and Lifestyle.
Here are 7 Top Tips:
1. Bowel Cancer doesn't just rock up one day - the Cancer has taken 10 - 15 years to get itself noticed.
In my book, that's a goodly long time in which to have taken steps to prevent it. And, with those timescales, just a small change taken today for the next decade could make all the difference to a future diagnosis. Of course, you'll never know whether it has made that difference. and, chances are that the small change of yesteryear will have become so normal today that you cannot remember what it was anyway!
Let me ask you - If you knew by making a small change now it would mean in 15 years time you don't have operations, radiotherapy, hospital visits, stress and uncertainty, would YOU make that change? Or would you simply keep doing and eating the same old same old?
2. Eat LOTS more Whole Plant Foods - Specifically, eat more Onions, Citrus and Apples, Dark Berries, Grapes and Olive Oil . And when eating an apple that means the skin and flesh, not simply drinking apple juice!
Why pick out these foods specifically? Because they are particularly high in Quercetin, a Flavanoid full of anti-oxidants which has a deleterious effect on cancer cells.
3. Eat Beans - Add a tablespoon of beans to your food every day. Examples are Kidney Beans, Broad Beans, Butter Beans, Chickpeas, Green Peas, Pinto Beans, Split Peas. In a study in 2006 just a few beans daily resulted in a 65% reduction of precancerous polyps coming back. Even better if you can increase bean intake to 3 tablespoons a day.
4. Avoid Processed Meats - cut out (or at least reduce) Processed Meats from your diet. Preserved meats contain Nitrates and high salt content which are loved by the cancer-causing compounds in your body. They also irritate the gut. So reduce consumption of sausages, salami, chorizo, etc.
5. Eat More Fibre - This will help in lots of ways (see my Blog on Fibre for more detail) Fibre helps your lower gut to eliminate the unwanted waste. It also feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut, which in turn will keep the unfriendly bacteria in check. You may find it necessary to supplement your diet with a good quality powdered fibre such as Arbonne's Daily Fibre Boost.
6. Drink Water - drink 8 glasses/2 litres of plain water daily. Hot water with a slice of lemon or a handful of mint leaves is delicious. The water will help your whole system move better, so make it more effective in eliminating the toxic waste.
7. Take Exercise Daily - regular exercise will boost your muscle tone, including the muscles of your gut. Which will help with the elimination of waste from your body - and that waste, if left inside you, becomes toxic and can be a key contributor to cancer cells. How much exercise is enough? It can be as simple as a 20-30 minute walk daily or a 10 minute stretching routine every morning, The target is 3 strenuous exercise sessions a week, but this may seem totally impossible and building up to it is fine. The important thing is to START! One study revealed that physically active men and women have about a 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer compared with inactive persons