Exercise Increases Colon Cancer Survival

By Bruce G. Gilbert
Balanced Fitness
A.C.E. certified, U.C.L.A. ext. certified

Colon Cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is a cancer starting in the large intestine or colon, or in the rectum, the end of the colon. Colon cancer usually begins as non-cancerous polyps that slowly develop into cancerous growths. The exact causes of Colon Cancer are not known. Possible warning signs include abdominal pains, changes in defecation like diarrhea or constipation, blood in stool, blockage of the intestines, anemia or unexplained weight loss. There are at risk behaviors, however, and risk increases at the age of 50 in both women and men, though women are slightly more likely to develop colon cancer than men.

Following is a partial list of risk factors.

  1. You are over 60

  2. You are of African American or Eastern European descent

  3. You already have cancer somewhere in your body

  4. Your diet includes a lot of red meat and fatty foods

  5. You have a familial history of colon cancer

  6. You have a personal history of breast cancer

  7. Drinking alcohol or smoking

Over the last two decades, deaths from colon cancer have dropped. Possible reasons for this are the spread of awareness of the disease, and early detection, primarily through the use of colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy is done with a fiber optic camera attached to a flexible tube inserted through the anus, and can scan the entire 4 or 5 feet of the large intestine. It can detect polyps or ulcerations, and allow the taking of small biopsies that can indicate the presence of cancerous cells. A sigmoidoscopy only accesses the final two feet of the large intestine, and is used as a precursor to colonoscopy when an FOBT (fecal occult blood test) detects cancerous cells within the colon.

The sooner the condition is detected, the higher the likeliness of cure. Everyone 50 or older is advised to get screened. Again, preventative action and early detection is vital to combating the occurrence of colon cancer.

High fiber, low fat diets and regular exercise have been thought to aid in prevention of colon cancer. The key is to keep your natural waste-disposal systems in motion. Preventing waste from building up in your intestines through exercise and diet is crucial in maintaining a healthy digestive system.


Bruce G. Gilbert
Balanced Fitness

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NOTE: This publication is not intended for use as a source of medical advice. You should obtain medical advice from your private healthcare practitioner. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health and that this or any exercise or dietary program will not put you at risk.

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