March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is a disease that
affects both men and women and is preventable nearly 90 percent of
the time. Starting at age 50, men at women at average risk for the
disease should get screened. Those with increased risk, like African-
Americans who typically develop colorectal cancer at younger ages,
should be screened even earlier.
Prevention techniques include regular screenings, a healthy diet and
regular exercise. If detected, colorectal cancer requires surgery in
nearly all cases for complete cure, sometimes in conjunction with
radiation and chemotherapy. Between 80 and 90 percent of patients are
restored to normal health if the cancer is detected and treated in
the earliest stages. However, the cure rate drops to 50 percent or
less when diagnosed in the later stages.
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), the
leading professional society of colorectal surgeons, provides the
following information on colorectal cancer and its screening,
prevention and treatment.
-Colorectal cancer can be prevented.
-Screening for the disease can identify polyps (grape-sized growths
in the colon and/or rectum) that can be removed to prevent cancer
-The magic age for screening is 50, unless you have an increased risk
for the disease.
-Colorectal cancer is treatable.
-Regardless of your age, know the risk factors, know the symptoms,
and know your family history.
-Talk with your health professional about colorectal cancer and your
own risk for the disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early
stages of this disease. When symptoms appear, they are often varied,
depending on the cancer's size and location in the large intestine.
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:
-A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or
a change in the consistency of your stool for more than a couple of
-Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
-Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.
-Abdominal pain with a bowel movement.
-A feeling that your bowel do not evacuate completely.
-Weakness or fatigue.
-Unexplained weight loss.
-Blood in your stool may be a sign of cancer, but it can also
indicate other conditions. Bright red blood you notice on bathroom
tissue more commonly comes from hemorrhoids or minor tears (fissures)
in the anus.
-Particular foods, such as beets or red licorice, can turn your
stools red. Iron supplements and some anti-diarrheal medications may
make stools black. Still, it's best to have any sign of blood or
change in your stools checked promptly by your doctor because it can
be a sign of something more serious.
Know The Risk Factors
Factors that may increase your risk of colon cancer include:
1 Age. About 90 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are
older than 50. Colon cancer can occur in younger people, but it
occurs much less frequently.
2. You are at greater risk for colon cancer in the future if you've
already had colon cancer or adenomatous polyps or a history of
colorectal cancer or polyps.
3. Long-standing inflammatory diseases of the colon, such as ulcerative
colitis and Crohn's disease, can increase your risk of colon cancer.
4. Genetic syndromes passed through generations of your family can
increase your risk of colon cancer.
5. Family history of colon cancer and colon polyps. You're more likely
to develop colon cancer if you have a parent, sibling or child with
the disease. If more than one family member has colon cancer or
rectal cancer, your risk is even greater. In some cases, this
connection may not be hereditary or genetic. Instead, cancers within
the same family may result from shared exposure to an environmental
carcinogen or from diet or lifestyle factors.
6. Colon cancer and rectal cancer may be associated with a diet low in
fiber and high in fat and calories. Research in this area has had
mixed results. Some studies have found an increased risk of colon
cancer in people who eat diets high in red meat and processed meats.
7. If you're inactive, you're more likely to develop colon cancer. This
may be because when you're inactive, waste stays in your colon
longer. Regular physical exercise may reduce your risk.
8. People with diabetes and insulin resistance may have an increased
risk of colon cancer.
9. People who are obese have an increased risk of colon cancer and an increased risk of dying of colon cancer when compared with people
considered normal weight.
10. People who smoke cigarettes may have an increased risk of colon
cancer. They may also have an increased chance of dying of colon
11. Heavy use of alcohol may increase your odds of colon cancer.
12. Acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder, causing an excess of growth
hormone in your body, may increase your risk of colon polyps and
13. Radiation therapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers
may increase the risk of colon cancer.
1. Peristalsis and Hydration: Peristalsis is the natural waves of contractions produced by the digestive tract in order to move food through the colon. There are many ways to stimulate peristalsis, but the most important way is through hydration. Constipation is often caused by dehydration. Hydration of the colon is key to making peristalsis happen naturally.
2. Bulk: The colon requires bulk for it to achieve healthy movement. Optimal intake of fiber is about 25-30 grams per day. The ideal combination of soluble fiber (psyllium husk) and insoluble fiber (flax oil, fiber) helps to absorb water and toxins and adds roughage to bulk up stool and sweep away built up debris in the intestinal tract.
3. Lubrication: is essential for the smooth flow of stool out of the intestines. Essential oils such as flaxseed oil, borage oil and fish oil are ideal.
Make Lifestyle Changes And Reduce Your Risk
You can take steps to reduce your risk of colon cancer by making
changes in your everyday life. Take steps to:
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits, vegetables
and whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants,
which may play a role in cancer prevention. Try to eat five or more
servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and to include a variety
of produce in your diet.
Limit fat, especially saturated fat. Eat a low-fat diet. Avoid
saturated fats from animal sources such as red meat. Other foods that
contain saturated fat include milk, cheese, ice cream, and coconut
and palm oils.
Eat a varied diet to increase the vitamins and minerals you consume.
A number of vitamins and minerals have been linked to a lower risk of
colon cancer, though results have been mixed. Studies haven't proved
certain vitamins and minerals will stop you from getting colon
cancer, but it can't hurt to vary the fruits and vegetables in your
diet to ensure you get a wide selection of nutrients. Vitamins and
minerals linked to a lower incidence of colon cancer include vitamin
B-6 (pyridoxine), calcium, folic acid and magnesium.
Food sources of calcium include skim or low-fat milk and other dairy
products, shrimp, tofu and sardines with the bones.
Magnesium is found in leafy greens, nuts, peas and beans.
Food sources of vitamin B-6 include grains, legumes, peas, spinach, carrots, potatoes, dairy foods and meat. Folic acid is the synthetic form vitamin B-9, and it's used in fortified breads, cereals and supplements. Vitamin B-9 occurs naturally in dark leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce, and in legumes, melons, bananas, broccoli and orange juice.
Limit alcohol consumption. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to
no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. A drink is a
4- to 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce can of beer, or a 1.5-ounce
shot of 80-proof liquor.
Stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit that may work
Stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight. Try to get
at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you've been
inactive, start slowly and build up gradually to 30 minutes. Also,
talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Exercise is what your body instinctively wants to do under stress: fight or flight, and it works. It burns off some of the stress chemicals tension produces. Therefore, a tired muscle is a relaxed muscle.
Regular exercise builds stamina that can help anyone battle stress. But even something as casual as a walk around the block can help you burn off some of the tension that you carrying around. Stretching is a great tension reducer. Stretch your chest for better breathing. The tense musculature of a person under stress can make breathing difficult and impaired breathing can aggravate the anxiety you already feel. To relax your breathing, roll your shoulders up and back, then relax. The first time, inhale deeply as they go back, exhale as they relax. Repeat four or five more times, then inhale deeply again. Repeat the entire sequence four times.
People under pressure have a tendency to clench their teeth. Dropping the jaw and rolling it helps make those muscles relax, and if you relax the muscles, you reduce the sensation of tension.
Of course, knowing that something's good for you doesn't make it any easier to actually do it. Most people in the general population don't engage in any regular physical activity or quit shortly after starting an exercise program. Depression and anxiety can make it even more difficult to get active. By its nature, depression means that you don't enjoy activities, that you're often fatigued or sedentary, that you just don't feel like it, that you lack motivation, or that you don't stick to treatment regimens very well.
You may have a hard enough time doing the dishes, showering or going to work. How can you possibly consider adding exercise to the mix?
Overcoming that inertia can be difficult. Another challenge is maintaining, or adhering to, an activity program. Setting realistic goals, doing some problem solving, and recognizing that exercise won't always be fun or easy can help.
Talk to your doctor. Although not all mental health professionals have adopted exercise as a part of their treatment regimen, talk to your doctor or therapist for guidance and support. Jointly assess your issues and concerns about an exercise program and how it fits into your overall treatment strategy.
Identify what you enjoy. Figure out what type of exercise or activities you're more likely and less likely to do, as well as where, when and how often. For instance, would you rather garden in the evenings, jog in the pre-dawn hours, go for a brief walk in the woods or play basketball with your children after school?
Set reasonable goals. Your mission doesn't have to be to walk for an hour five days a week. Even a 10-minute walk can help lift your mood, get you into a more positive environment and refocus your thoughts, even temporarily, away from negative or self-critical thinking patterns. Custom-tailor your plan to your own needs and abilities.
Break it down. It might be good to have an overall exercise strategy. But focusing on the perfect plan or an ideal rather than what's realistic for you can sabotage your efforts. Don't start with the ideal and work backward. Start with the realistic and work forward. Break your program down into smaller parts. If you can't fathom walking for 45 minutes, what is possible? Fifteen minutes? Five minutes? Start there, and build on that foundation.
For many people, just getting shoes on and getting out the door is the majority of the effort. That's the hardest part. Once we're moving, though, it's often easier to keep moving. So put your energy into the front end ? into just getting started.
Have short-term coping strategies. You may have a structured exercise program that calls for activity several times a week at the local gym. But plan for active ways to cope immediately and quickly with unexpected negative moods, depression, anxiety or other issues. For instance, even if it's your day off from exercise, taking a 10-minute walk may quickly help lift your mood if you're sad or anxious or find yourself focusing on negative thoughts. Try to respond to a negative mood with physical activity.
Don't think of exercise as a burden. If exercise is just another "should" in your life that you don't think you're living up to, you'll associate it with failure. Rather, look at your exercise schedule the same way you look at your therapy sessions or antidepressant medication ? as one of the tools to help your treatment. Reframe the way you think about physical activity. Don't think of it as just another thing that you should be doing, but can't because of all of the demands in your life. Instead, think of it as something positive that you can do now to help you meet your goals, including feeling better physically and emotionally.
Address your barriers. Identify your individual barriers to launching a program. If you're self-conscious, for instance, you might not want to exercise in public. If anxiety or depression makes you feel like you're carrying a heavy weight around, the idea of moving on purpose, doing something active, can seem absurd. The barriers may feel overwhelming. But when you have depression, it's easy to overestimate difficulty. Instead, develop a strategy to overcome or get around those barriers. If you don't want to go to a crowded gym, perhaps you can go to a quiet park or use a home treadmill or bike. If you're put off by the thought of spending 30 minutes jogging, aim for five minutes of walking instead of just doing nothing. If five minutes seems daunting, try two minutes.
Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Exercise isn't always easy or fun. And it's tempting to blame yourself for that. People with depression are especially likely to feel shame over perceived failures. Don't fall into that trap. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small.
Chances are, you're going to come to a time when it gets really hard. If you say that you're a failure, that you blew it, that you have to start all over, you're more likely to quit altogether. Recognize that change is hard and setbacks are part of the change process. By learning how to cope with setbacks, you'll learn skills that will help you stay active over the long term.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
is the oldest, continually practiced, and professionally administered health care system in the world. It is a documented medical system spanning over 2,500 years based on comprehensive philosophies, rational theories, clinically tested and empirically verified by over 100 generations of highly educated practitioners. Chinese Medicine is a total system of internal medicine which is comprised of a diagnostic procedure based on signs, symptoms and treatment styles including acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, diet and meditation. It?s foundation is based on the principles of balance; the interdependent relationship of Yin and Yang. Through this balance, health is achieved and maintained.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, an imbalance of energy or Qi in a particular meridian or organ system can cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. When emotions are held on to over long periods of time, or when they result from a particularly stressful or traumatic event, they can become causes of illness. Emotions also can result from an imbalanced flow of Qi or blood. Therefore, emotions can be the cause or the symptom of a disorder.
A TCM practitioner aims to restore balance to the body. When the body's energy is flowing properly to all tissues of the body, a person is better able to deal with stress and its effects. The TCM practitioner will diagnose the effects of stress on the different body systems.
Acupuncture is an effective therapy for the treatment of stress and anxiety related disorders from cancer. Acupuncture redirects your Qi into a more balanced flow. It provides support to the underlying energetic spheres affected by the disease, helping to resolve the cause or effects of your stress. Acupuncture releases tension in the muscles. This allows increased flow of blood, lymph, and nerve impulses to affected areas, decreasing the stress experienced by you. Acupuncture also is effective in relieving the physical symptoms associated with cancer-related disorders, such as:
*Chemotherapy side effects
*Neck and shoulder tension...
The specific course of treatment depends on the nature and severity of your symptoms. Acupuncture treatments for chemotherapy side effects and boosting the immune system, for example, are great reasons to seek treatment.
Visit Your TCM practitioner for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
There are many different approaches to massage and applications of it. "Massage Therapy" is a holistic procedure that affects all systems of the body; digestive, elimination, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic,
endocrine and nervous systems. Many of today's health problems arise from stress. Because stress upsets the delicate integral balance of all your body's
functions, regaining this balance requires a holistic approach.
Massage Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Massage not only treats those parts of you which are a problem, but also affects the whole of your metabolism through normalizing your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems and their interdependent functioning.
Massage for anxiety is effective by detoxing the whole system and can be done with soothing anxiety massage oils or relaxing body lotions
in order for the practitioner's hands to "glide" over the body with smooth, relaxing strokes.
Learn How to Give a Massage. This step by step method will help you learn just how to make your subject feel great!
The Crystal Facial Massage
works on a deep esoteric level allowing not only the physical body enjoyment and total relaxation but the stones will enhance a positive, reconnecting flow of energy which will allow you to bring up, recognize and clear emotional blocks.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy. is recommended for this condition. It is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy with river bed stones which draw out stress, tension and impurities from the body.
There is an emotional aspect to every illness. Often times, it is the emotional thoughts or "excess emotions" that will lead to illness. The following therapies are utilized for calming the mind, help with stress relief and focuses on our mental powers over any situation. The ability to balance your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self is up to you. Here are some suggestions: