In Australia, colorectal cancer (commonly known as bowel cancer) is the most common internal cancer affecting both men and women. It is the second most-common cause of cancer-related death after lung cancer. One in 12 Australians will develop bowel cancer before the age of 85. The risk of developing bowel cancer increases from the age of 40 years and rises sharply and progressively from the age of 50 years. The best way to detect it early is screening, even if you have no obvious symptoms. If caught in time, 90% of bowel cancer can be treated successfully.
Bowel cancer is a malignant growth that develops on the inside of the large bowel (colon) or in the rectum. It can take many years to develop. The majority of bowel cancers develop from polyps that are tiny growths and if these are removed the risk of cancer is reduced. It is believed that a healthy diet and exercising regularly could prevent 66 to 75 per cent of bowel cancer cases.
The symptoms can include: bleeding from the back passage or any sign of blood after a bowel motion, a recent and persistent change in bowel habit, unexplained tiredness and abdominal pain. More than 75 per cent of people who develop bowel cancer do not have a family history of the disease, although an increased risk of bowel cancer may exist if one or more family members had it diagnosed at any stage. (Australian Department of Health and Ageing)
Supplements: Bitter herbs; magnesium
Diet: Baked fish; juices (low starch)
Complementary Healthcare Council
For more information, take a look through Help Yourself: an A-Z of natural cures for common complaints, by Mim Beim and Jan Castorina. It's published by Doubleday and is available through all good bookstores.