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Since the 2000s, oncological diseases have traditionally been listed among the five most common causes of death. According to WHO, bowel cancer ranks third in terms of the severity and complexity of choosing effective and safe therapy regimen. That is why new methods of treatment are constantly being developed, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
- What are causes and symptoms of bowel cancer?
- What symptoms should you be suspicious of in order to diagnose bowel cancer?
- How to prevent the development of bowel cancer?
- What are the useful peculiarities of nutrition in bowel cancer?
- What are the alternative methods of bowel cancer treatment?
- How should we organize a daily life for a patient with bowel cancer?
What are causes and symptoms of bowel cancer?
It is impossible to give exact and individual advice concerning how to prevent getting bowel cancer.
Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to focus on certain factors that most likely stimulate the development of the disease:
- High content of fats and proteins in food (intermediate metabolites of these substances form carcinogenic environment)
- Malfunction of the physiological bacterial environment in the bowels
- Food that is rich with refined and highly purified products, deficit of plant fiber (this leads to slowing down of food passage and injury of the mucous membrane causes for bowel cancer)
- Chronic inflammatory diseases and precancerous conditions
Signs of bowel cancer depend on the location of the tumor in the digestive tract.
So, bowel cancer symptoms include:
- Discomfort in the abdomen, heaviness in the stomach, nausea
- Pain in the abdomen, attacks of intestinal colic
- Irregularity of the stool or constipation
- Blood, pus or mucus in the faeces
- Weight loss, fever, general weakness
What symptoms should you be suspicious of in order to diagnose bowel cancer?
Diagnosis of bowel cancer traditionally includes certain laboratory and instrumental examinations. Nevertheless, a competent medical specialist will suspect the disease at the stage of communication with the patient and physical examination. Early diagnosis is extremely important, as late detection of this form of cancer is dangerous due to it metastasizing to the liver, lungs, peritoneum, and, more rarely, to the spine and adrenal glands. More precise examinations provide information on the manifestations of bowel cancer in a particular patient, which enables a doctor to select an individual scheme of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Mandatory investigations include:
- General blood count (hemoglobin level, ESR)
- Biochemical blood test (kidney and liver function, protein components of blood)
- Blood test for tumor markers (CEA, CA 19.9)
- Ultrasound investigation of the abdominal region;
- Colonoscopy with biopsy of tumor or suspicious for malignant changes sites
- CT / MRI of abdominal and pelvic organs with contrast for the detection of bowel cancer metastases
- PET-CT in case ambiguous CT / MRI results are obtained
How to prevent the development of bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer prevention includes few simple and natural recommendations, which are available to any person. These recommendations include:
- Regular preventive examination from the age of 40 years, regardless of the presence or absence of complaints. The importance of an annual checkup increases with the presence of cancer in relatives of the first line of kinship, previously identified oncological diseases in a state of remission, smoking and the presence of occupational hazards (work with asbestos).
- Following rules of personal hygiene after defecation.
- Timely treatment of chronic inflammatory and ulcerous diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, polyps). Regarding rectal cancer prevention we should underline the importance of treatment of anal fissures and hemorrhoidal boluses.
- Regular stool, absence of chronic constipation.
- Balanced diet with sufficient amount of plant fiber, and the physiological ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Among products with an additional anti-cancer effect we should mention soy, cabbage, onions and garlic, nuts, mushrooms, marine fish.
What are the useful peculiarities of nutrition in bowel cancer?
Diet for patients with cancer diseases has a number of features connected with both the specifics of the processes in the body of the patient with cancer, and the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The diet for bowel cancer patients is based on the following principles:
- Split meals. There should be 3 basic and 2-3 additional meals during the day
- Small portions of food per meal, which facilitates the process of digestion
- Serving warm food, which activates a number of enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract
- Giving priority to boiled food, cooking in a double boiler
- Excluding spicy food, fried and smoked food, alcoholic and fuzzy drinks from the diet
As for the recommended for patients with bowel cancer foods to eat, the diet should include cereals, vegetable soups, boiled and fresh vegetables, marine fish, sunflower and olive oil.
What are the alternative methods of bowel cancer treatment?
Trying to understand the prognosis for a patient with bowel cancer is worthwhile after the doctor has examined the results of all investigations. The method of surgical intervention or the individual scheme of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is selected based on the results of a comprehensive diagnosis. Nevertheless, natural remedies for bowel cancer can be applied in addition to the methods of official medicine. The mechanism of action of such substances can not always be studied, but in a number of cases their positive effect on the patient's condition is noted.
Such products and herbs to kill cancer include:
- Propolis, which can be used both in monotherapy and in complex drugs. Alcoholic tincture of propolis has the most pronounced effect in the natural treatment of bowel cancer. This substance has a proven effect on the immune responses, as well as on the ability to resist bacterial infections.
- Aconite. This herb for cancer cure contains potent alkaloids, which have a toxic effect on cancer cells.
- Celandine. When we speak about colon cancer herbal treatment, pure celandine juice, its broth or tincture are applied. Celandine promotes the restoration of damaged tissues, and also reduces pain syndrome.
How should we organize a daily life for a patient with bowel cancer?
Taking care of cancer patients not only concerns conditions of life, but also has psycho-emotional features that will affect family members and friends. First of all, it is important to organize a daily routine which will naturally include necessary medical and hygienic (for example, when colostomy is performed) measures. Also, you should not focus solely on the disease; devoting time to the favorite hobby or acceptable types of physical activity is no less valuable than medical drugs are. The spiritual care for cancer patients is a significant part, as well. It is important to change inevitable negative emotions into a constructive ones, to motivate the patient for seeking new opportunities and to have a hopeful mindset while fighting with the disease. The patient should know that a loved one is always near, ready to listen and share feelings that the patient is going through.
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