Reduce your risk – Colon Cancer Awareness Month
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the cancer of the lower part of your digestive system (colon). Most cases of colon cancer begin as small clumps of cells called polys. Over time, these polys become cancer cells.
Why is screening for colon cancer so important?
Because among cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. In Malaysia, colon cancer is the second most common cancer.1 The risk of developing colon cancer is 1 among 10 males, and 1 among 9 females, 2 and the risk increases with advancing age. More than 80 percent of cases occur in people aged 50 or older.3
Colon cancer screening saves lives. The earlier colon cancer can be found, the more likely it can be successfully treated.
In many cases, symptoms are not caused by cancer. However, if you have any of these problems, it is a sign that you should go to the doctor to have them checked out4:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- Rectal bleeding
- Dark stools, or blood in the stool
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Reduce your colon cancer risk by keeping your gut healthy.
Recently, it has become increasingly evident that the disruption of microbes in the gut contributes to colon cancer.5, 6 The healthy gut is home to over 30 trillion microbes which work together with the gut cells playing an essential role in supporting digestive and immune health.7 Certain beneficial microbes in your gut produce anti-inflammatory molecules known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) when they digest and ferment fiber.8 SCFAs can help regulate inflammation outside of the gut. However, when these beneficial microbes are disturbed, your immune system weakens which may increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
Studies have shown that consumption of microbial cell preparation (MCP) comprising of beneficial bacteria may be very helpful for people with colon cancer (Read more here). Based on current evidence, the use of MCP to maintain gut microbiota balance and gut function are important for enhancing host defences, especially during and after cancer treatment.9, 10
During this Colon Cancer Awareness Month, let’s share information and knowledge that can help and encourage others to beat colon cancer by being one step ahead. After all, prevention is better than cure, and ensuring that you have healthy gut can help prevent serious illnesses and digestive complications.
At B-Crobes, we take pride in the science-supported formulations we develop with our customers. HEXBIO® is a multi-strain MCP that offers many clinically-proven health benefits including digestive and immune utilization support. To learn more about HEXBIO®, visit: https://bcrobes.com/hexbio/
- Radzi, M. A. H., Khazim, W. W. K., Othman, Z., Nik Mustapha, N. R., Mohd Said, R., Tan, W. L., Mohd Suan, M. A., & Soelar, S. A. (2014). The Second Annual Report of the National Cancer Patient Registry – Colorectal. Cancer. 2014; 2008 – 2013. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: National Cancer Patient Registry – Colorectal Cancer and Clinical Research Centre (CRC).
- Azizah, A. M., Nor Saleha, I. T., Noor Hashimah, A., Asmah, Z. A., & Mastulu, W. (2016). Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report 2007–2011. Malaysia cancer statistics, data and figure. Putrajaya: National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Health.
- Veettil, S. K., Lim, K. G., Chaiyakunapruk, N., Ching, S. M., & Hassan, M. R. A. (2017). Colorectal cancer in Malaysia: Its burden and implications for a multiethnic country. Asian Journal of Surgery, 40(6), 481-489.
- Astin, M., Griffin, T., Neal, R. D., Rose, P., & Hamilton, W. (2011). The diagnostic value of symptoms for colorectal cancer in primary care: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice, 61(586), e231–e243.
- Ahn, J., Sinha, R., Pei, Z., Dominianni, C., Wu, J., Shi, J., … & Yang, L. (2013). Human gut microbiome and risk for colorectal cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 105(24), 1907-1911.
- Zackular, J. P., Baxter, N. T., Iverson, K. D., Sadler, W. D., Petrosino, J. F., Chen, G. Y., & Schloss, P. D. (2013). The gut microbiome modulates colon tumorigenesis. MBio, 4(6), e00692-13.
- Sender, R., Fuchs, S., & Milo, R. (2016). Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body. PLoS Biology, 14(8), e1002533.
- Tan, J., McKenzie, C., Potamitis, M., Thorburn, A. N., Mackay, C. R., & Macia, L. (2014). The role of short-chain fatty acids in health and disease. In Advances in Immunology(Vol. 121, pp. 91-119). Academic Press.
- Tan, C. K., Said, S., Rajandram, R., Wang, Z., Roslani, A. C., & Chin, K. F. (2016). Pre-surgical administration of microbial cell preparation in colorectal cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. World Journal of surgery, 40(8), 1985-1992.
- Golkhalkhali, B., Rajandram, R., Paliany, A. S., Ho, G. F., Wan Ishak, W. Z., Johari, C. S., & Chin, K. F. (2018). Strain‐specific probiotic (microbial cell preparation) and omega‐3 fatty acid in modulating quality of life and inflammatory markers in colorectal cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Asia‐Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 14(3), 179-191.