It is a current expectation that 1 in 12 New Zealanders will be diagnosed with Bowel Cancer by the age of 85. THIS IS A PREVENTABLE DISEASE IN 90% OF CASES!
Bowel Cancer is 90% preventable!
Risk factors include genetic pre-disposition, hereditary polyposis and non-polyposis syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease (especially ulcerative colitis) age, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, poor quality diet. Hyperinsulinaemia is associated with the development of many cancers, including bowel cancer. Management of obesity, visceral fat, a low carbohydrate diet (rich in plant materials) and exercise may all help with reduction of insulin production.
By the way, if you have a genetic predisposition this does not mean you will automatically succumb to “it”, but you should pay very close attention and be even more compelled to work on those preventative strategies mentioned below.
Our medical profession is on to it, being the completely overworked and under-resourced ambulance at the bottom of the cliff as they are, understanding that early detection through widely applied screening programs is the most important factor in saving the lives of bowel cancer sufferers, and with these screening practices bowel cancer is now often detected before it starts to cause symptoms, and there is no doubt lives are being saved. Saved by the brilliant and skilled work of surgeons who cut open the abdominal cavity and remove small to very large sections of the intestine (of those whom they decide they might be able to save). The people who survive that procedure often go on to the grueling treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. How they survive that I’m not sure, but those that do are then left with managing a digestive system that will never be normal, can often be severely abnormal, and they may well have to poo into a bag attached to a hole in their stomach for the rest of their lives. But they are saved, and alive right? I’m afraid that the rest of that 90% die a miserable death. Very depressing really.
Last week our Government announced a new nationwide screening program for bowel cancer. That is if you fit the screening criteria. This is good news but not great news - unfortunately a lot of people will miss out. They say it's the best they can do with the resources they have for the overwhelming business of caring for all the people who are succumbing to preventable diseases.
Have you ever stopped and noticed what a diseased species we actually are?
I wonder if the government will ever figure out how they can contribute sufficiently to the preventative health movement? When will they realise how inexpensive it would be if we were all well again? Well at least most of us - 90% wellness would be good start.
So come on people, don’t be complacent and get on with doing your best to prevent this happening to you!
Tips to lower your risk of Bowel Cancer
(and just about all other preventable disease actually)
My next blog will explain the why’s and how’s of all my tips.
Stay with me, hopefully well back from the edge of the top of the cliff!
Meryn Wakelin is a Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutrition Consultant (and passionate cook of all good food) with clinics in Pukekohe and Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.