About 30 years ago, colon cancer endoscopists were rare in Korea. Since the number of colorectal cancer patients was small, there were few doctors who majored in endoscopy. Now, every street is overflowing with hospitals specializing in colonoscopy. In just 20 to 30 years, colorectal cancer has increased significantly. This change in eating habits is one of the biggest reasons. In an era where the health of the colon is getting worse and worse, how should we cope?
◆ Number of colorectal cancer patients beating stomach cancer… Half of middle-aged patients, increasing
Announced in December 2022 According to the data of the Central Cancer Registration Headquarters, colon cancer was 27,877 cases (2020), with more patients than stomach cancer (26,662 cases). Middle-aged patients in their 50s and 60s suffering from a health crisis accounted for almost half (46.6%). Those in their 70s accounted for 24.0%. Considering the time the cancer sprouted, it seems that the health of the colon has deteriorated since the age of 40. Those aged 50 or older can undergo an endoscopy if abnormalities are found after a stool test every year according to the National Cancer Screening.
◆ Eat more, move less… If you enjoy sausage-bacon on red meat
Diet is the most influential factor in the incidence of colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Information Center, regardless of the type of food, the higher the total calorie intake, the higher the risk of colorectal cancer.
1) Red meat with high saturated fat and high calories, such as fat
Eating a lot of red and dark colored meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb, increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Most of the red meat seems to be because it is high in saturated fat, such as fat, and high in calories.
2) Grilled or fried meat… production of carcinogens
In the past, beef, pork, and chicken were often boiled and eaten, but these days, cooking methods such as grilling or frying directly over an open fire have greatly increased. In the process of grilling meat, carcinogens such as benzopyrene can be created.
3) Sausage, ham, bacon, etc… Baking is bad for gut health
Recently, there are many cases of enjoying meat products processed in factories. Sausage, ham, and bacon have been classified as group 1 carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO). It seems to be due to several ingredients introduced in the processing process. Roasting meat products increases polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which is even worse for intestinal health.
4) If you don’t like vegetables or fruits… Lack of dietary fiber that reduces carcinogens
If you eat a lot of dietary fiber (fiber) in vegetables and fruits, the possibility of colon cancer is lowered. Fiber dilutes the contents of the large intestine, reduces transit time and increases stool bulk. Carcinogens may be reduced in this process.
5) Sitting all day and lack of body movement… Decreased intestinal peristalsis
Long periods of sitting and lack of physical movement increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This is because physical activity and exercise promote intestinal peristalsis, thereby reducing the time for feces to pass through the intestines, and reducing the time for carcinogens in feces to contact the intestinal mucosa. If you eat a lot and don’t move, you can gain weight, which increases the risk of colon cancer by 2.5 times.
6) genetic factors
5% of colorectal cancers have been found to be clearly genetic, and up to 15% are known to be related to genetic predisposition. If you have a colorectal cancer patient in your immediate family, such as your parents, brothers, or sisters, you should be careful.
◆ Colon cancer symptoms?… Bright red or dark red bloody stools
In the early stages of colorectal cancer, most have no symptoms. When symptoms appear, they are often already quite advanced. The main symptom is 1) Changes in bowel habits, such as sudden difficulty in passing stools or a change in frequency 2) Diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling of stool remaining after a bowel movement 3) Bloody stools (bright red or dark red) or sticky mucus 4) stools thinner than before 5) Abdominal discomfort (abdominal pain, bloating) 6) Loss of weight or muscle strength 7) Fatigue 8) Indigestion, nausea and vomiting may occur.
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Source: 코메디닷컴 by kormedi.com.
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