Natural medicine for colon cancer can play a preventive and supportive role. In terms of prevention, natural medicine can address risk factors associated with colon cancer such as:
1. Reduce high meat consumption. A high red meat diet can make one prone to constipation which in turn can increase the risk of colon cancer.
2. Low Vitamin D: Thought only as being beneficial for bone health, vitamin D can benefit colon health. Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increase in colon cancer. There are vitamin D receptors located on colon cells and when stimulated by vitamin D, this can keep colon cancer cells at bay. Vitamin D deficiency is more common than one thinks especially in the Northern Hemisphere like the United States. How much Vitamin D should you take? You should take enough so blood concentrations are between 30 – 60 nanograms/ml of blood.
3. High sugar diets and diabetes and a high waist to hip ratio: These three risk factors increases insulin and IGF-1(insulin growth factor) which fuel tumor growth. Natural medicine recommendations to balance blood sugar and help diabetes include eating a high fiber diet, increasing protein intake, taking chromium mineral. Fiber acts as mesh to slow down the absorption of sugar. Protein prevents spikes in blood sugar and chromium helps insulin to function better. To lower the waist to hip ratio, engaging in aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, three days a week can be helpful.
Natural Medicine for Colon Cancer: Supportive Roles
If you have colon cancer and are undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, natural medicine can help to:
1. Reduce side effects of these treatments.
2. Enhance the efficacy of these treatments
For example, if you are having surgery to remove a cancerous part of the colon, taking a supplement that is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin would be beneficial to help heal tissue. Also taking a supplement called Modified Citrus Pectin can help prevent the spread of cancer. If you are having radiation to the colon area, a common side effect is diarrhea and taking probiotics beneficial microorganisms can help reduce diarrhea. If you are having chemotherapy a common side effect is diarrhea and numbness in the hands and taking glutamine powder can help reduce these side effects. Finally there is an herbal medicine that can enhance certain chemotherapy agents. Turmeric, a component of curries, can enhance the efficacy of Oxaliplatin and Xeloda, 2 chemotherapies prescribed for colon cancer.