Dr. Jayesh Gori

Surgical Oncologist

Know the Diet to Reduce/Increase Colorectal Cancer Risk

Today, we delve deeper into a subject that binds us all – food, and its far-reaching impacts on our health.

We’re focusing on a condition that’s often talked about in hushed tones – cancer, particularly colorectal cancer

In this blog, we unravel the intricate links between our food choices and the risk of developing this disease while offering some ‘menu modifications’ for better health.

The Culinary Culprits

Our culinary adventure begins on a slightly sour note. As Indians, we have a soft spot for our spicy kebabs, mutton curries, and meals laced with that extra pinch of salt, right?

However, here’s a bitter fact gorging on red meat, salt, and processed meats could be inviting unwanted health issues, including an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

The hitch? These savory delights often harbor harmful chemicals and preservatives. Over time, these can inflict damage to the cells lining your colon and rectum, potentially paving the way for cancerous changes. Here’s a quick rundown of foods that you might want to give a second thought:

  • Red Meat: Think succulent kebabs, mutton rogan josh, and all other kinds of beef and pork dishes.

  • Processed Meats: This category includes foods like sausages, cold cuts, and canned meats.

  • Salt: While it brings life to our curries and dals, excess can tip the scale of health risks. Many pickles, papads, and pre-packaged meals are also high in salt.

Harnessing the Power of Moderation

Here comes the good news: we’re not asking you to strike these foods off your menu entirely. We understand how intertwined food is with our culture and traditions!

What we’re advocating is a balanced approach. Consider cutting down your intake of these foods as an essential step towards curtailing your risk of colorectal cancer.

How about introducing a ‘Vegetable-only Virevar’ into your weekly routine, or swapping red meat for chicken or fish more frequently?

Look for fresh produce over processed meats, and keep a check on the hidden salt in pickles, chutneys, and ready-made foods. 

Remember, it’s the small, sustainable changes in our diet that cumulatively contribute to significant health benefits over time.

After all, it’s not about ticking all the right boxes all the time but making more informed choices most of the time.

Savoring the Health-Promoting Ingredients

Great news – certain food habits can be your allies in lowering the risk of colorectal cancer! A fiber-rich diet, loaded with a variety of fruits and vibrant green vegetables, can work wonders. 

Fiber plays the crucial role of a gut custodian, reducing the time waste products linger in your colon. This essentially limits the exposure of colon cells to potential carcinogens.

In addition to fiber-laden foods, bring calcium-rich foods and yogurt into your daily meals. Calcium, along with certain probiotics found in yogurt, are speculated to shield the cells lining the colon from cancerous changes.

By embracing this style of eating, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, you can dramatically reduce your odds of developing colorectal cancer. It’s like arming yourself with a dietary shield!

A Brief Look at Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer refers to cancers arising in the colon and the rectum. The shadows of this cancer start looming larger after the age of 45, and an unhealthy lifestyle can significantly amplify this risk.

Colorectal cancer often introduces itself subtly through symptoms like blood in stool, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation.

However, the presence and severity of these symptoms hinge on the tumor size and its location within the colon or rectum.

The treatment course of this cancer depends on various factors including the tumor’s size, location, and the individual’s overall health.

Common treatment options encompass surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Dish Out a Healthy Life

Your diet has a starring role in your risk of developing colorectal cancer. By stirring up the right food choices – decreasing the portions of red and processed meats and boosting the intake of fiber-filled foods, calcium-rich items, and yogurt – you can effectively turn down the risk of this disease. 

But remember, a well-balanced diet alone isn’t enough. Regular physical activity and routine medical check-ups are equally important ingredients in your recipe for optimal health.

So, here’s to crafting a life brimming with delicious health and wellness choices! If you need any more information about the diet for colorectal cancer, feel free to reach out.