You probably already know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer. But do you know what type of cancer is number two? It's colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer causes more than 650,000 deaths worldwide every year. You may find this hard to believe, but colon cancer actually starts from very tiny and humble beginnings. Small masses of cells called polyps begin to grow in your colon. By themselves, they represent no real danger. But over a period of five to 10 years, it's possible for these polyps to become cancerous. So you can begin to see why colon health is so important.
Cancer is the result when the normal growth and division of cells in your body gets out of control. When you think about it, the cells are really quite miraculous. Your entire body is made up of cells, and they tend to grow, divide and generally take care of themselves without any conscious input from you. But sometimes things go awry. Instead of growing new cells as and when needed, cancerous growth continues when there is no need for new cells.
In your colon, this extra growth may initially take the form of small polyps. The mere existence of polyps in your colon does not mean that you have colon cancer. But there is a very good chance that over a period of years, one or more of these polyps could become cancerous. Because there are no symptoms at the beginning, the only way to detect polyps is with a test called a colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy uses a tiny camera on a flexible fiber-optic cable. After some sedation and some lubrication, the camera is inserted into your rectum and threaded up through your lower intestine. The colonoscopy operator and the doctor were able to view the inside of your intestine in real time and search for any abnormalities. The process sounds both embarrassing and painful, but colonoscopy is absolutely essential to maintain good colon health, especially if you are at risk for colorectal cancer. Age is the greatest risk factor. About 90% of all cases of colorectal cancer occur in people over the age of 50.
During the colonoscopy, if your doctor discovers any polyps in your colon, he may take a small sample to determine if they are cancerous. In some cases, your doctor may remove the entire polyp during the colonoscopy. There's no cause for immediate alarm even if your doctor does discover polyps in your colon. There are actually several different kinds of polyps and not all of them are at risk for becoming cancerous. Adenomas are the polyps with the greatest risk for becoming cancerous and are often removed as soon as they are found. Once again, if you have a colonoscopy and your doctor discovers the presence of polyps, stay calm. Polyps in the colon, even adenomas, are actually quite common and are routinially found and removed in colonoscopies.
Can a regular colon detox prevent the formation of precancerous polyps? Although no definitive link is being established by clinical research, regular colon cleansing could help you avoid development of polyps. One of the risk factors for colorectal cancer is incomplete emptying of your colon. By paying more attention to colon health and performing a regular colon detox, it's possible for you to be lower your risk of developing dangerous precancerous polyps.
Another risk factor for colorectal cancer is inactivity. When your lifestyle is characterized by lack of activity, waste actually stays in your colon longer. The slow movement and build up of waste in your colon could lead to negative colon health outcomes.
Low fiber, high fat diets have also been implicated in the development of polyps and consequent growth of colon cancer. Changing your diet and lifestyle could lead to a dramatic improvement in your colon health. By filling your diet with fiber-rich foods and cutting back on fatty foods, you will be greatly lowering your risk for the development of colon cancer. As you start out on this new diet and lifestyle, you may wish to try a colon cleanse and complete colon detox. This will facilitate the emptying of your colon and accelerate your progress towards overall wellness.