Putting Off Cancer Screenings

CRCBanner_ResizedNo one likes to talk about disease and cancer, but avoiding these subjects won’t make the reality of them disappear. Colorectal cancer is the 2nd or 3rd leading cause of death among all cancers (depending on your source.) Approximately 137,000 men and women will be diagnosed with this disease in 2015 and approximately 50,000 will lose their lives as a result.

As a chiropractic physician I believe strongly in preventative healthcare. Actively managing one’s health reduces the chances for all types of diseases while enhancing the potential for quality health. There are multiple types of screenings the consumer can choose from. Naturally, there are limitations with some and risks with others. Discussing these options with ALL your doctors will give you more information to make a better informed decision. Remember that indecision (although a decision) is rarely the best option.

I had a colonoscopy in 2015 as a routine preventative test. Many people avoid this procedure out of fear. If fear of pain is preventing you from undergoing this type of procedure, rest assured that certain methods can avoid ALL PAIN. When I had my procedure, I was given propofol, a short term anaesthetic drug for procedural sedations. The result was a comfortable sleep and recovery permitting the gastroenterologist to thoroughly do his job without any conscious pain on my part. It was quick and easy and did not create any down time (although they recommended not to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day.)

As a doctor who actively participates and carefully monitors my own health, the results of the procedure produced 2 polyps that required biopsies. After receiving the pathology report, it was determined that the polyps removed (ALSO PAINLESS) were benign. The gastroenterologist was courteous, professional and thorough performing the procedure. I was surprised, however, that recommendations were not offered to produce better future results.

This created great concerns about the lack of information and education provided to me (as the patient) regarding the finding of polyps. Once the biopsies were determined to be benign, the instructions provided to me consisted of:

  1. Follow up colonoscopy in 5 years.

Since there were abnormal findings (in this case polyps) why wasn’t the medical protocol to explain the modifications in lifestyle necessary to potentially reduce the risk for additional abnormal findings in 5 years. Leaving the patient void of responsibility because the abnormalities weren’t aggressive (i.e. cancer) seems like a poor choice. Usually, doing more of the “same stuff” is likely to produce more of the “same outcome” or worse! Based on my experience, I thought it might be beneficial for all readers of this article to understand that optional lifestyle modifications exist to reduce the chances for developing polyps, colorectal cancer, cancer in general as well as other health maladies.

What are the the most important factors YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF for reducing the chances of colorectal cancer?

  1. Diet and Nutrition

  2. Exercise

  3. Weight Control

  4. Alcohol Consumption

  5. Smoking

Numbers 2-5 are self explanatory. I will provide some specific nutritional items to incorporate into your current dietary habits that effectively prevent, attack and inhibit colon cancer and the tumors they produce. There are other risk factors we can’t control such as age and family history, but it is important to realize that genetic markers only increase risk FACTORS; they do NOT guarantee the expression of these markers. Lifestyle is the biggest factor determining the likelihood of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

The following partial list was compiled from an article written by Margie King, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:

  1. Nuts -about 28 grams per serving (about a quarter cup) about 5 times a WEEK (not 5 times a day!)

  2. Leafy Greens

  3. Turmeric

  4. Pineapple

  5. Kimchi – a fermented vegetable dish from Korea

  6. Green Tea

  7. Parsley

  8. Red Grapes

  9. Black Seed

  10. Miso (fermented for 180 days)

  11. Honey (caffeic acid in the honey inhibits colon cancer cell growth)

  12. Hot peppers

  13. Apple

  14. Olive Oil

  15. Wheatgrass

  16. Pomegranate

  17. Chaga mushrooms

  18. Red yeast rice

Some of the items on this list will be unfamiliar to you. A little research is a healthy activity that stimulates brain neurons. Give it a shot. Besides, knowledge is a powerful tool when combating disease or maintaining a healthy body.

Although this list is not comprehensive, it offers a good starting point. The object is to incorporate various nutrients; NOT to eat the entire list in one meal! By changing your eating habits and improving the other four components listed above, your ACTIVE role in preventative health will reduce your chances of developing this commonly asymptomatic (without symptoms) disease.

Literature also commonly states to avoid red meat and processed meat if possible as well as frying and grilling foods to the point of burning them. Personally, I am not comfortable with a blanket statement regarding red meat, because too many variables might be interfering with the real facts. I am comfortable suggesting limiting or avoiding processed meats and avoid burning foods in frying pans and grills. Known carcinogenic compounds are produced cooking foods in this manner.

Even if you comply with all of these recommendations, preventative screenings are still essential. Remember, there are various options of screenings. Discuss these options with ALL of your trained licensed physicians (chiropractor, naturopath, medical, homeopathic, etc…) to get varying opinions to assist you with making the final decision. Don’t let FEAR prevent you from acting in your own best interest.

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26 comments

  1. I think God is trying to tell me something. Monday my PCP gave me my usual lecture on Colonoscopy. This morning my insurance company called and tried to convince me and mentioned that there were less invasive ways (home stool test) and that is what I did recently since I refused the colonoscopy and then your do an article on it LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to see you made the decision to utilize one of the options available for colon screening. I think you made wise decision rather than avoiding all of the options.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have 2 theories, both wrong, but what I don’t know won’t hurt me and I have enough medical issues I don’t need anymore. Bad, bad theories. I just allowed him to talk me into a mammogram again. And they find something each time. The first time I went all the way through to the biopsy and it was nothing, nothing! This time they found something again. Second mammo and ultrasound and they found what is PROBABLY a benign cyst. No biopsy this time, but the news is kind of scary. I don’t like that word probably. I have so many tests because they find things and what they find isn’t what it really is or it isn’t viable or whatever. I was just hospitalized in May a year ago for a blood clot in my lung. After numerous cat scans and 2 days in the hospital and 2 pulmonary drs it was declared non-viable. So you can see that I don’t trust drs too much and would rather not add any more whoopsies to my financial status and fear factor. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I understand your frustration. It is a personal decision and I want to make certain people have as much accurate information to make their decision as possible.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your information is great and I read every one of them and take them into consideration, but I have been battered by drs who never could figure out what was wrong and sent to one specialist after another. Every time something is wrong I hate to go to a dr because either they dont’ have an opinion or they blame it on my Fibromyalgia. Everything is blamed on that. I am likely to be the first person to die from it for cripes sake. Joking here, but seriously, come on people get with it.

            I had my gall bladder out (major surgery), they screwed that up, wouldn’t listen to me when I complained of pain and I ended up back in the hospital, tested for all kinds of things and it was a gall stone in the bile duct. 2 more weeks added to what should have been 4 days. Because I had to be sent to a larger hospital and they had no room for quite a while. It wasn’t until I turned yellow and my skin started to itch that they thought about the surgery I just had done.

            I am not picking on you. Just mad at the medical profession right now after putting me through all that nonsense to get my psychiatric meds before I ran out. It just adds one more point to their failing numbers.

            Don’t worry I think you write great articles and they make sense. I really do. No BS there. Even though I give you and every dr trouble. It is just my path in life to make drs lives crazier. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. If all I wanted to hear in life was flowery comments and praise, I never would have become a doctor. It’s a wonderful, but challenging profession. It takes a combination of technical and personal skill to help patients achieve the best outcomes possible. The reality is, we are human. We are expected to provide all the answers and NEVER make mistakes. I can hear your frustration with the system. The business component of healthcare magnifies the problems for both patients and doctors. I appreciate your respectful comments and your willingness to listen. I never expect anyone to follow any piece of advice that doesn’t sit well with their comfort level. I just ask people to be open minded and realize the intent of my writings and suggestions. I only wish the best for everyone. Keep smiling Tessa, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jonathan I am glad that my mouth didn’t get me in trouble again. 🙂 One of the problems with Bipolar is stuff comes out before I have had a chance to think about it. I try to be respectful and I know it is hard on drs when they can’t do what is best for their patients because the insurance refuses to allow them. I could see it if everyone in the insurance business was a trained doctor and knew what they were talking about.

      I am glad we are still friends. If I step out of line just bop me over the head with a 2×4 LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great information Jonathon. I agree, a colonoscopy is painless and worth every effort. Yesterday a friend of mine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she is the 5th friend I know to get it. Lifestyle, diet, and screenings are essential for our overall health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for your friend’s recent diagnosis. I am sorry for you as well. This disease impacts all our lives.
      One of the more important beliefs I am trying to help people rethink is the idea that we “get cancer” as if a foreign cancer agent invades the body and multiplies. Cancer is the result of a weakness in our individual immune systems. Something or things interfere with its ability to function properly. It can be from chronic infections (weakening its response), emotional stress (where stress hormones will interfere with function), dietary stress (a lack of nutrition needed to maintain optimal function), etc… Approaching this disease is no different than approaching HEALTH. We need to provide the the body the various components needed to strengthen the immune system, while simultaneously providing an unfriendly environment to the cells in the body that have mutated and become diseased. Cancer loves SUGAR and HATES oxygen. With limited space, I will conclude that cancer can be effectively treated utilizing positive healthy treatments that help maintain an improved mental attitude and quality of life while allowing the body to recover and perform its responsibilities in the manner it was designed to. The diagnosis “cancer” should NOT BE VIEWED as a death sentence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your comment Jonathan. I agree with all you are saying and none of my friends who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer have died. However, the girl that just found out did a BRCA gene test awhile ago and it came back negative, which is interesting. Her Mum had Breast Cancer in her 40’s and again when she was 60, so she was always going to be a high risk. Sadly her Mum died only a year ago from a complication of a leg operation.

        Interesting to note, that even when we do all we can, there is still that small percent that doesn’t protect us. I am a strong believer in the overall balance of our life as you are, and in this particular case, she had so much grief and stress from the sudden loss of her Mother, it really wasn’t a big surprise sadly, that she developed this disease.

        Like

        1. Glad to hear your friends have all survived their diagnosis. You’re absolutely right regarding a percentage of people following the “healthiest of protocols” still succumbing to this disease. This is why I wrote in the most recent article, The Awakening Part 1, that environmental toxicities play an important role independent of our lifestyles causing damaging effects on our immune systems resulting in cancer diagnoses.
          One quick and interesting point. The BRCA gene in and of itself does not cause cancer. The factors that turn this gene “on” and “off” are the likely ROOT CAUSES of its expression. Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics are part of the new sciences uncovering new truths regarding gene expression. New types of diagnostic testing are being introduced for earlier detection which will lead to natural treatment interventions earlier in the process resulting in less painful and damaging treatments and better outcomes. Thought you might find this interesting.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the list of foods you provided to help combat cancer. I’ve never been afraid to try new foods and have tasted them all except for Chaga mushrooms and red yeast rice, so I’m excited to try those.

    I like avoiding pain, so thanks for the tips, as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watching and reading about small changes people are willing to make to improve their health helps me believe I have found a very strong purpose for my existence on this planet. As we learn to incorporate these changes, they become a natural part of living. This gives all of us an opportunity to shift our focus from “health needs” to “life’s needs” and all the wonderful and meaningful components we want to enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very informative article 🙂 I am already including some of the items in our diet need to add others too 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad to see you already use some of these nutrients in your diet. I would love for you to help me spread the word by posting some of your recipes with fellow bloggers. Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry I missed replying you 🙂 I will surely share some healthy recipes with you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Looks like I will researching some new recipes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a great example of a positive method to deal with stress. Focusing on creating something healthy changes brain chemistry and reduces stress responses. It’s fun, exciting (as new creations are attempted) and places our minds in a better position to return and address the initial stressful situation. Don’t forget to share those recipes with all of us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for posting this. I have had my screenings, but my husband steadfastly refuses to allow this procedure done, even though I have had it several times and have told him it is pain free. He does have stool samples taken twice a year, but is that enough? His uncle died of this type of cancer, so I am concerned for him. Not sure how I could convince him to go. I wish he was more interested in preventing the disease, than he is fearful of having it and having to do something about it after dectection. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my opinion, it is NOT a mandatory procedure, however, determining risk factors should play an important role in deciding. How is his diet, does he exercise regularly, what are his stress levels like, how good and how much sleep does he get, etc… are questions that help determine the need for various diagnostic testing. If a person is going to avoid preventative screenings, they should be willing to do all they can to reduce their odds for developing disease. In this life, few can have their cake and eat it too.

      Like

      1. If only we could have our cake and eat it too! If only! 😉

        Hubs is very active, eats only 1-2 times per day (twice if he eats breakfast with his buddies), does not smoke, drink, or lay about. He is in much better health than is his partner, me. His uncle drove truck, so sat in a chair every day, and smoked heavily for most of his life.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My mom uses the red yeast rice to control her cholesterol. Her PCP was amazed at the results she was able to achieve with this natural supplement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As we learn to integrate the various elements needed to promote or sustain a healthy body, good health becomes the natural outcome. As an athlete practices a sport, as the average person begins to exercise on a regular basis, as we feed our bodies the nutrients it needs the outcome is always improvement. It’s common sense, but sometimes our brain interferes with our actions even though we know the end result will be damaging. Coordinating the brain and the heart is a challenging task!

      Like

      1. A challenging task, indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I see that Breast Cancer is being discussed in the thread of comments, I highly recommend Suzanne Somers book “Knockout”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for adding an additional reference source for the readers.

      Like

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