Sunday, January 24, 2021

Colon Cancer (Oriental Medicine View)


General information

The cancer recently increasing among the people of 30 to 40s in developed countries. In most cases, cancer occurs to people in their 50 to 60s; in case of colon cancer, the occurring rate among the people of 30 to 40s has risen 3 times for recent 20 years. No doubt the change of dietary pattern has caused the phenomena; the more the ratio of fat to fibrous cell is over 3 to 1, the higher the probability of getting it. Although the rank in its proportion among the cancers is not relatively high, the speed of its proliferation has been the fastest. Some doctors even say that colon cancer will be the most common cancer in the year of 2010.

– 95% of perfect cure rate when detected early

Colon cancer, however, can easily be diagnosed and shows 95% of perfect cure rate when detected early; even in the second phase when the cancer cell spreads to the muscular layer and serous coat, the rate is up to 70 to 80%. Like other types of cancer, colon cancer is caused by many mixed factors.

The Causes

– Excessive fat and caloric intake

About 70% of colon cancer is allegedly from improper dietary habits; intake of foods like beef, pork, lamb, sausage, hamburger, bacon or ham can cause the metabolism disorder of bacteria or hormones thereby heightening the probability.

– Constipation

Constipation makes more chance the carcinogenic materials to be contacted with colitis mucosa. Constipation is caused by deficiency of fibrous cell and the habit of suppressing the evacuation desire.

– Drinking

Drinking can cause constipation which is directly related to colon cancer; smoking doesn’t reportedly have that kind of correlation.

– Ulcer and other colon diseases

The foreboding symptoms occurring prior to colon cancer are ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, familial polyposis, etc. Women with ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer show high probability of getting the cancer, and vice versa. In case of ulcerative colitis, the inflammation on colitis mucosa increases the risk.

– Genetic Factors

It is reportedly said that genetic factors are also closely related to colon cancer(about 40%). If there is anyone in the family who had a history of the cancer, other members are required to get some general check-ups. Some kinds of polyps which are made on inner wall of colon are reported to affect the probability. Other than these, familial polyposis, though it is rare, can develop to colon cancer.

The symptoms

Any specific symptoms can sparsely be found in the early stage of the cancer, and the disease of constipation is so common that the people who are already taken ill usually take it for granted. One of the particular characteristics of colon cancer is that its symptoms vary with the position of cancer cell. When the cancer cell is made on the tip area, feces is usually diluted; the inner the area is located, the harder feces gets.

– Changing of evacuation pattern

The most common symptoms are abrupt constipation and repetition of diarrhea and constipation in turn. These symptoms don’t occur in daily basis; therefore most patients tend to regard them as just some disorders from food or stress.

– Bleeding

The second common symptom of colon cancer is bleeding. The blood can be seen or not, depending on the area and amount of bleeding; its colors also vary from purple to black. The closer the area is to the anus, the redder the blood is.

– Pain

There are two cases of pain in the pelvis or around the anus: (1) cancer cells are located near anus that is fairly sensitive; (2) cancer is advanced further and gets big. The latter, however, in many cases, is from the diseases other than cancer itself. Abdominal pain is also can be felt but, the area is generally hard to pinpoint; until the colon gets clogged with cancer, the acute abdominal pain doesn’t appear accompanied with distention or vomiting.

– Weight Loss

Weight loss is hardly found in colon cancer. It occurs only when the cancer cell spread to the whole body or colon gets so clogged that it’s hard to eat foods.


– Colonoscopy

The current treatments of colon cancer are mainly focusing on securing the general functions of genital, anus and bladder as much as it can.

The most common operation has been excision, but it is being replaced with colonoscopy. However, the use of colonoscopy is restricted to polyps that show high tendency of becoming cancer or to the situation that cancer cells spread only on inner wall of colon in its early phase. In fact, abdominal section reportedly accounts for 70% when treating the cancer. Polyps with stems are removed by electrocuting with iron wire; those without stems are removed by endoscopic demucosation.

– Abdominal section

The location of this operation is decided by the area where the cancer cells are spread, and it takes about 2 hours. Other than the cancer spread area, lymph nodes around are also removed.

– Laparoscopic resection

When the cancer cells are only found on polyps or inner wall of the colon, this operation can be made. Laparoscope is a kind of endoscopes and its biggest merit is it doesn’t necessarily make big excision(only several holes up to 1cm). However, this operation can be applied only in the early stage of cancer.


– Fish instead of red meats

People who like to eat red meats like beef or pork tend to show high vulnerability to the cancer. Intake of meat produces cholic acid(3 times more than usual) and sterol thereby increasing bacteria that chemically changes the two materials. In the second stage when the cholic acid is made, some carcinogenic materials can be produced. Therefore, it is healthful to have chicken and fish other than red meats.

– Regular physical exercise

Beside the improper dietary habits, inactive life pattern is also found to affect the outbreak of the cancer. Vivid life pattern including regular physical exercise makes metabolism in the body active thereby toughening internal organs and weakens the movement of carcinogenic materials.

– Fiber

Carcinogenic agents, continuously stimulating the mucosa, cause the cancer. To deter their action, dietetic treatment is required and also pretty effective. What is important here is to gradually eat more fruits and vegetable that contain fiber; fiber activates and fastens the movement of feces, shortening the staying period of carcinogenic materials in the body. Moreover, coffee and calcium are reported to make the same effect.

– Changing the cooking pattern

Baking, frying or barbecuing are reportedly heightening the susceptibility to colon cancer. Cooking meats with heat over 100。C produces HAA that is closely related to make carcinogenic materials.


Question: Does severe constipation develop to colon cancer?

Answer: There has been no specified reports on that. However, no one cannot deny the waste materials shouldn’t be staying long in the body ceaselessly stimulating intestine.

Question: Is there any self-diagnosing ways on colon cancer?

Answer: There are three simple ways to test: (1) put the index finger into the anus, and if lumps are felt, it is 40% that can be identified as cancer; (2) with sigmoidoscope, one can check if there in any disorders inside the anus; (3) when examining feces, if, – no matter how little it is -, blood is seen, cancer cells are thought to be existing.

Question: How about the relation between hemorrhoids and colon cancer?

Answer: Fairly low chances are that hemorrhoids can develop to colon cancer. However, if some bleeding due to cancer cell may be misunderstood as hemorrhoids, that can be a serious problem.

Wang Wei
Wang Wei is a holistic health practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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