Monday, July 18, 2011

Bowel Cancer

Colon cancer - known in the medical profession as Colo-Rectal cancer - is the most common cancer in Australia, after skin cancer: and it is the second most common cancer-related cause of death: it's also one of the most preventable ones too! So anything that we can do to prevent it will lead to a reduction in unecessary personal suffering and also to a reduced need to use our already stretched hospital services.

Obviously, there are screening tests that are available for those at higher risk - that is those with a strong family history, or those how are known to have multiple polyps in their bowel - and this usually means regular bowel examinations by specialists. But seeing Specialists means using the hospital services, and I'm thinking more of what each of us can do to lower their own personal risk of developing bowel cancer.

The ideal thing would be for everyone never to grow old, because aging is fraught with so many health issues: but at this stage, that is the stuff of dreams and fantasy. But according to the health experts, there are some things that may prove beneficial, and I suspect that most of you have heard of them before:

  • dietary modifications - increased dietary fibre, fruits and vegetables, and decreased red meat
  • other lifestyle changes - increased physical activity, weight maintenance, avoidance of smoking, and moderation of alcohol intake 
Non of these things will reverse the aging process or stop you from ever developing cancer or heart disease, but they will reduce the likelihood of you developing them: and they will make you fitter and healthier so that should you come down with either of them, then you are much more likely to survive them and recover better from them. If you do your bit to maximize your health, then that leaves the hospitals freer to look after those who need their precious resources.
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