Australia has one of the world’s largest bowel cancer rates. Bowel cancer was Australia’s second most prevalent cancer in 2017 and rates are rising in individuals under 50 years of age. Lifestyle variables such as diet and smoking could cause up to 35% of cancers globally.
So how can we reduce our bowel cancer chances?
What to eat
A high fiber diet is essential to decrease the risk of bowel cancer based on present proof. Fiber can be split into two kinds: insoluble fiber that produces a bulky stool that can readily be carried through the intestine ; and soluble fiber that attracts water to maintain the stool soft.
Cereal and wholegrain fiber is an optimal source of fibre. Australian guidelines suggest targeting 30 g of fiber per day for adolescents, but that goal is met by less than 20% of Australian adolescents.
Wheat bran is one of the richest sources of fiber, and 25 g of wheat bran decreased precancerous growth in an Australian trial in individuals at high danger of bowel cancer. To cook, smoothies and your usual cereal, you can add wheat bran.
It is not evident how fiber can decrease the danger of intestinal cancer, but possible processes include decreasing the time it takes for food to pass through the intestine (and thus exposure to potential carcinogens) or a positive impact on intestinal bacteria. A high fiber diet was also associated with enhanced survival once bowel cancer was diagnosed.
Milk and dairy products are also considered to decrease the danger of intestinal cancer. In present Australian bowel cancer rules, the proof for milk is classified as “likely protective,” with the advantage rising with greater quantities.
Some protective components may also be found in oily fish. In individuals with hereditary circumstances that make them susceptible to developing lots of precancerous growths (polyps) in the intestine, a study in which one group received a daily supplement of polyunsaturated fatty acid omega 3 (found in fish oil) and one group got placebo discovered that this supplement was associated with decreased polyp development.
It is unknown whether this also applies to individuals at average danger of intestinal cancer, which is the majority of the population. And while only an observational study (meaning it indicates only a correlation, not one causing the other), a research of patients with bowel cancer showed enhanced survival connected with daily coffee consumption.
What to avoid
Avoiding big amounts of meat is best. International cancer officials claim compelling proof exists for a connection between elevated consumption of meat and cancer of the intestine. This involves red meat, obtained from mammalian muscles such as beef, veal, lamb, pork and goat, and processed meat such as ham, bacon and sausages.
Processed meats have experienced a conservation method such as smoking, salting or adding chemical preservatives that are connected with the manufacture of carcinogenic compounds.
Evidence also indicates a dose-response relationship, with rising cancer danger as meat consumption increases, especially processed meats. Current Australian guidelines suggest minimizing as much as possible intake of processed meat and eating only moderate amounts of red meat (up to 100 g daily).
Additional stuff I can do to reduce the risk of bowel cancer?
A good general lifestyle is the key to decreasing cancer risk. It is essential to have adequate physical activity and to avoid surplus fat around the tummy region. Other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors have been correlated with enhanced cancer danger, such as eating lots of processed foods.
Article originally featured by The Conversation.