In one of the researches done by the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the top 3 types of cancer which affected many people in the United States. This statistic remains the same, even for the other parts of the world. Major symptoms of colon cancer include blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramping, narrow stool, irregular bowel habits, anaemia, and unexpected weight loss.
Colon Cancer- what type of cancer is it?
Colorectal cancer or, colon cancer as the name suggests, is an abnormal tumour that develops in the colon or intestine. This cancer develops when tumours or polyps popup in the colon lining or at the end of the large intestine known as the rectum. If the tumour is not removed, well in time, then it will grow over time and turn cancerous. It will start spreading and affect other sections or organs of the body.
Food for the patients of Colon Cancer
Proper nutrition is important for our health. But when one is aware that he/she is a cancer patient, then it’s important to know which food is ideal and what to avoid. Taking the wrong food will affect the condition of the patient. The right food will ensure the treatment outcome is positive and will also improve the patient’s quality of life. Colon cancer and food are having a direct relation, and one must know about it.
What foods a colon cancer patient should take?
For colon cancer patients, there is a need for a requisite amount of omega 3-fatty acids, in the diet. In addition to this, the colon needs vitamin D, flavonoids, and calcium to restrict the growth of tumours. Aside from all these dietary fibers is also important to include in the diet as it supports regular bowel movement and restricts bacteria build up. Some of the good foods for preventing colon cancer and to help in fast recovery for cancer patients are.
- Fish: Best source for omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in controlling inflammation
- Fruits: Rich in antioxidants, fruits are fibrous and contain specific phytochemicals, which can help in managing digestive problems. Consume fruits like apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, pears, and oranges.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Another rich source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, non-starchy vegetables are good for restricting colon cancer and its recovery.
- White Meat- Protein is vital for muscle development, tissues healthy development, and more benefits are there.
- Whole grains- Whole grains are excellent fibre-packed food, good for the digestive system.
- Nuts- Nuts are a good source of fatty acids, fiber, and flavonoids blood sugar and insulin levels low, reducing your risk of having type 2 diabetes.
What foods a colon cancer patient should avoid?
Just like essential foods for colon cancer patients, some foods are a must to avoid. So, what are those foods to avoid in colon cancer?
1. High sugar concentrate food– Sugar enriched foods like sweets, desserts, sugar candy, and carbonated drinks are with little or no nutrition. Such foods make you feel full and occupy the space of nutritious foods like green vegetables, fruits, and white meats. Consumption of excessive sugar enriched foods can be a reason for obesity leading to the risk of having colon cancer.
2. Foods enriched with saturated fat – Foods with a high amount of saturated fat include high-fat dairy, for example, butter and other processed foods. The research revealed that having a diet with low saturated fat may help patients to get the best treatment outcomes. Cancer specialists suggest that you consume fats sourced from healthier alternatives like omega fatty acid from fish, nuts, olive, and canola oil. The more you reduce the saturated fat in your diet better will be the results of the treatment of colon cancer.
3. Carbonated drinks – Carbonated and sweetened drinks and sodas are known to complicate the problem of gas and nausea. It can be the best food that can contribute to obesity and weight gain. Such types of empty calories have nil nutritional value and will act as a reason behind your weight gain, which will worsen the condition in colon cancer patients.
4. Fried spicy foods – Oily fried foods and fast foods increase the adversity in the symptoms of colon cancer. It will worsen the condition with the occurrence of nausea, vomiting, and troubled stool passing due to chemotherapy. Due to a weak digestive system fatty foods turn out difficult for digestion. It remains accumulated in the stomach for a long time and increases the risk of having painful acid reflux. It is quite risky for the health of a colon cancer patient.
5. Caffeine – Caffeine is another harmful food which can degrade the condition of nausea and diarrhea. Consumption of Caffeine increases the chance of acid production in the stomach, which in turn act as a reason for acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, and swallowing problems. Caffeine is perfect to cause insomnia, which is a known side effect of chemotherapy.
6. Processed food and meat – Many are not aware that in the year 2015 World Health Organization or WHO termed processed food and especially meats as a carcinogen. The organization alerted cancer patients in special, on the topic. They recommended limiting or better avoid eating such food. Processed meat, in general, contains chemicals, and that is very bad for the lining of the colon. The colon of a colon cancer patient remains sensitive. On consumption of such processed meats or food will aggravate the condition leading to stomach related problems
7. Alcohol – Stop taking alcohol when you are a patient with colon cancer. If you find it difficult to avoid, then go for it rarely. Alcohol has a high chance of interacting with the medicines prescribed for cancer patients. Doctors recommend pain medication to cancer patients, and consuming alcohol will lead to dry mouth, causing throat pain in addition to difficulty in swallowing. Drinking alcohol may cause acid reflux and heartburn, which turns the condition even more painful and unbearable.
Researchers are still studying to know more about the link between diet and colon or rectum cancer. In the coming time, we will get to learn more about the foods to consume and avoid colon cancer patients and to lower the chance of having this cancer in people.