Bowel Cancer and Genetics
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that affects the large intestine (the colon) and its terminal part the rectum. Bowel cancer is in majority of cases a genetic disease. This malignant tumor affects both genders equally. Family history of bowel cancer is a strong risk factor and such people are supposed to have regular check-ups and undergo certain diagnostic procedures so that the potential tumor can be identified on time and treated adequately.
When we say a family history of bowel cancer it means that a person at risk has at least one close family member (for example, mother, father, brother, sister -first degree relative) who has been diagnosed with the same tumor but before the age of 45. In case more than one relative is suffering from bowel cancer the risk increases even more. This is why such people must consult their health care provider and get informed regarding regular tests and exams and what needs to be done in order to achieve early detection of potential malignant disease.
The tumor can be easily diagnosed even in early stages of the disease with the assistance of certain tests and exams. For example, patient's stool is monitored for traces of blood and he/ she may need to undergone routine colonoscopy. These screening methods may efficiently help in early setting of the diagnosis and successful treatment of colon cancer.
Prevention of Bowel Cancer
In spite of being a genetic disease, bowel cancer can be prevented with certain measures. First of all, the person at increased risk is due to pay special attention on his/ her diet. Namely, diet must be high in fiber and low in fat. Furthermore, intake of vitamin C as well as other potent antioxidants is another way of proper protection against bowel cancer.
Fibrous foods are of great importance for the health of the bowel in general. Such food is broken down by good bacteria that produce butyric acid (a type of fatty acid). This specific acid maintains the health of the intestinal wall and can prevent proliferation of cancerous cells.
Vitamin C is obtained from a variety of citrus fruits. Apart from adequate intake of vitamin C green leafy vegetables such as spinach, spring greens as well as green peppers are very efficient in prevention of bowel cancer. And finally, one is due to consume plenty of water on a daily bases. The intake of sufficient amount of water loosens the stool and prevents constipation.