Going Meat Free May Fare Better For Your Colon
The second highest form of cancer that causes death in the United States each year is Colorectal cancer, and a recent study has shown that eating a meat free diet may be helpful in preventing this cancer from occurring. These latest findings were reported by Dr. Michael Orlich, a lead researcher in the study performed with the use of information gathered from 77,000 adult participants. The National Library of Medicine says: “A vegetarian diet might cut your risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent, a new study finds. For fish-eating vegetarians, the protective link was even stronger, researchers said.”
The findings have posed cause for celebration among those working toward a cure for cancer, and while vegetarianism certainly won’t solve all colon cancer issues, it seems to be playing a large role in the prevention of this disease for those who participated in the latest research.
It seems that cancer is constantly in the media, and while it is an illness that has yet to be completely solved by any form of medication or therapy, it seems like the medical community is achieving amazing things through their research. Prevention and treatment methods have been evolving by leaps and bounds, making it easy to see why this latest research was so successful. CNN reports: “Why focus on colorectal cancer? It is the third most diagnosed cancer, and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the US in 2014, according to American Cancer Society statistics. The disease is particularly dangerous because it is usually asymptomatic in its early stages, making it more difficult to detect when it’s less deadly.”
Colon cancer is often misdiagnosed at first, and can be mistaken for many other illnesses related to the intestines such as Crohn’s disease and Colitis. Due to the inability to spot this cancer as easily as others such as breast or ovarian, colon cancer can slip by scans unnoticed, making it even more important that preventative measures by taken.
Unfortunately, trying the vegetarian lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and it can be highly difficult to give up meat if you eat it regularly in your diet. Many people start small by cutting back on certain types of meats, and then slowly cutting them out altogether, while others try to quit everything at once and simply focus more on dairy, grains, and vegetation as a means to get by. Many vegetarians choose to still eat eggs and cheese, while some also include fish in their diets without counting it against their vegetarian lifestyle. Dr. Alfred Neugut, another researcher involved in the study of the effects of a vegetarian diet on colon cancer has voiced his surprise over the findings. Web MD states: “Neugut said that a vegetarian diet might be a sign of other healthy behaviors, such as exercising and not smoking, which could also reduce the risk for cancer.”
This poses a slight problem with the way that the statistics have stacked up in favor of vegetarianism, and supports the notion that the reduction of cancer in vegetarians may be due to other reasons outside of the meatless diet. For many who assume a certain dietary lifestyle permanently, there are many other healthy adaptations in their lives. As mentioned above, exercise and avoiding pollutants such as cigarette smoke could also have a large impact on whether or not colon cancer rears its ugly head.
Going Forward With Research
In the future, more controlled variables may be needed in research studies to better understand if diet is the only thing affecting the possibilities of cancer. Unfortunately some factors, such as genetics, may always play an invisible part in whether or not a patient will be diagnosed. This is disheartening, and means that more research is needed in the field of colon cancer, and cancer in general.
While the battle against colon cancer may not yet be won, it is important to recognize that any win, even a small one, in the prevention of colon cancer is a crucial step toward successfully ridding the world of this disease. Continued research efforts will likely uncover more of how vegetarianism can improve many areas of health and wellness, but if you are planning on changing your diet on a large scale at any time you should speak to a physician before doing so.
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