Doctors share health tips to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay | Health - Hindustan Times

Doctors share health tips to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Feb 17, 2022 05:12 PM IST

Colorectal cancer one of the leading cause of cancer death in the western world and India is catching up to the high numbers as well. Since prevention is better than cure, here are a few health tips by doctors to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay

Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer and the one that begins in the rectum is called rectal cancer which that which affects either of these organs may also be called colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, inside the colon or rectum which is part of the body's digestive system.

Doctors share health tips to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay (Twitter/EvaSmartAI)
Doctors share health tips to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay (Twitter/EvaSmartAI)

While causes of this cancer are still being debated in the healthcare industry, it is one of the leading cause of cancer deaths in the western world and India is catching up to the high numbers as well. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Niti Raizada, Director of Medical Oncology and Hemato-Oncology at Fortis Group of Hospitals in Bangalore, explained, “Colorectal cancer develops when healthy cells in the colon or rectum lining alter and grow out of control, causing a tumour. Various circumstances cause different types of tumours. However, researchers are still trying to figure out the cause of colorectal cancer and how to prevent it. While there is no way to totally avoid colorectal cancer, there are ways to reduce one’s risks.”

Tips to keep colorectal cancer (CRC) risks at bay:

Dr Narasimhaiah Srinivasaiah, Head of colorectal services in Karnataka region and Senior Consultant Colorectal surgeon (Colorectal, Peritoneal & Pelvic Oncology) at Apollo Institute of Colorectal Surgery (AICRS), shared, “Risk reduction with right awareness, a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, whole grains and foods containing fibre are some ways of reducing the chances of contracting this type of cancer. Screening, in case of doubt, is the best route to take.”

He highlighted that while environmental factors such as food, water and air pollution play a role and contribute to 95% of all the colorectal cancers, the risk factors such as sedentary lifestyle, stress, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, consumption of junk food, excess red meat and lack of fibrous diet seem to influence the situation and makes an individual more prone to it. He revealed, “The genetic cancers account to 5%. Being aware and understanding of colorectal cancer is paramount. One should stick to the traditional home-cooked food rich in balanced nutrients and greens. Fresh, lean meat which is cooked slowly at moderate temperature is preferable when opting for a non-vegetarian meal.”

Furthermore, he advised that a diet rich in fibre, fruit, vegetables, folate, calcium and vitamin D can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. He asserted, “Accept healthy lifestyle changes. Get a daily dose of exercise and keep your weight in check. One point that is never spoken about is ‘toileting'. As important as eating healthy is evacuation of the waste. An unhealthy toilet habit and toileting positions can lead to stools rich in toxic metabolites such as ammonia. This causes damage to the lining of the colon and rectum. The damage triggers a change in the cells which are precursors for cancers. This is very true of the Western system of toilets where the evacuation can be incomplete. Indian toilets or Squatty potties are recommended.”

Echoing the same, Dr Niti Raizada said, “Colorectal cancer risk may be reduced by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and less amount of red meat. People who take calcium and vitamin D supplements had a lower risk of colorectal cancer, according to several research. Polyp removal via a colonoscopy can help prevent colorectal cancer and helps inspects the big intestine for cancerous polyps.”

Adding to the list of preventive measures, she revealed, “Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to some research, may help persons with a history of colorectal cancer or polyps grow fewer polyps. Taking low-dose aspirin can help prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in some persons, depending on age and risk factors. Regular use of NSAIDs, on the other hand, can result in serious adverse effects such as stomach lining haemorrhage and blood clots leading to stroke or heart attack.”



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