Bowel cancer rates have been going down since the 1980’s. However, a recent study shows that millennials (those born between 1982-2004) have rates of bowel cancer four times that of people born in 1950.
Cancer rarely develops because of a single cause. The predominant causes of most cancers are stress, toxins, radiation, infection, inflammation, diet and expectations. That last one might confuse some, but it is still an important factor. Genetic factors contribute in 5-10% of the cases.
The signs of bowel cancer are blood in the stools, a change in bowel habits, looser stools and abdominal pain. The study suggests that poor diets and lack of exercise are the primary causes. However, age, diet, weight, exercise, alcohol usage, smoking, and family history are used as guidelines by doctors in assessing risks of bowel cancer and other diseases.
Lifestyle choices determine are health. We choose what we do each day. My wife had breast cancer a few years ago. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. She recovered fully. We analyzed her lifestyle and concluded that stress, inflammation and dietary choices were most likely the primary causes of her cancer.
Chronic low-level inflammation is the genesis of 80% of all disease. A balanced diet provides a way to combat low-level inflammation. The c-reactive protein (CRP) blood test determines the overall inflammation level in the body. I add this blood test to our annual physicals. My last CRP test result was less than measurable. This has been my norm for years. My wife’s CRP was around 3 mg/L. Anything less than 1.0 mg/L is considered low. Anything 3 mg/L and higher are considered at risk.
Our immune system is our primary defense against disease. Balanced nutrition is the starting point to fight diseases that thrive on vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Our lifestyles can change overnight, if we want to. Our choices have consequences. Lent is starting tomorrow, why not begin with balancing your nutritional choices instead of giving up something?