Did you know that colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer? And if detected early, it is also one of the most preventable.
Be aware of the factors that can increase your risk:
- A personal or family history of pre-cancerous colon polyps or colon cancer
- Being 50 or older
- Being 45 or older if you are of African/Caribbean descent
- Being overweight
- Having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s colitis
It is important to realize that when most people are first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, they have no symptoms. For this reason, it is very important to have regular colorectal cancer screening examinations. Changes in bowel habits, unexplained anemia (low blood count), weight loss, blood in the stool or abdominal pain are all possible cancer symptoms and should be discussed with your doctor.
Did you know that Cleveland Clinic Canada now offers OHIP-covered colonoscopies (with a physician referral)?
For more information or to book an appointment, call 416-507-6608.
What is a colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, a doctor looks at the lining of the entire colon, beyond the rectum and lower colon. A colonoscope is a flexible, lighted tube (endoscope) inserted through the rectum. If your doctor sees something abnormal, tissue samples (called a biopsy) may be taken during a colonoscopy. Polyps (like skin tags, only inside the colon) can also be removed during this test.
When is a colonoscopy needed?
Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if you are having symptoms (such as blood in your bowel movement or chronic diarrhea) or if you are at the appropriate age to be screened for colorectal cancer. The appropriate age is typically 50; men and women of African or Caribbean descent should begin screening at 45.
Did you know that what you eat can prevent colon cancer?
According to the American Dietetic Association, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked to a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At this point, however, it’s not clear which components in vegetables and fruits are the most protective against cancer. So enjoy a variety of whole foods that are naturally rich in nutrients. Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Eating a diet rich in these plant-based foods can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Zesty Bean Salad
- 1 can each kidney beans, chick peas (or your favourite beans)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen edamame
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or your favourite flavour-infused oil (try garlic or ginger!)
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots or red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic (or more to taste)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grated cucumber
- 1 cup thinly sliced peppers (choose a variety of colours)
- handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours-the longer it sits, the better it will taste! Serve as is or over field greens.