Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Each year, more than 2,000 South Carolinians are diagnosed with colon cancer and 800 die from the disease. But it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, not everyone receives proper screening.
That’s why Lexington Medical Center will host its fifth annual Colon Cancer Challenge bike ride on Saturday, March 29, 2014. All proceeds will go to the LMC Colon Cancer Fund. Hundreds of people participate in the event each year.
“Lexington Medical Center is pleased that the Colon Cancer Challenge helps to provide colonoscopies for people in need in our community,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center.
The Colon Cancer Challenge is set for March 29, 2014. The one-day bicycling event will feature 65-, 50-, 25- and 15- and 5-mile rides. Everything begins and ends at Dutch Fork Middle School, located at 1528 Old Tamah Road in Irmo.
Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. The 65- and 50-mile rides begin at 8:00 a.m; the 25-mile ride at 9:00 a.m; the15-mile ride at 9:30 a.m; and the 5-mile ride at 10:00 a.m. Lunch for bike riders will be served at 11:00 a.m.
60-, 50-, 25- and 15-mile Bike Rides: Early Registration: $35. After March 14: $40. Day of Event: $45. 5-mile Bike Ride: Early Registration: $20. After March 14: $25. Day of Event: $30.
This year’s Colon Cancer Challenge will also be a special tribute to Edwin Hudson, MD, a Lexington Medical Center radiologist and avid bike rider, who was killed in a tragic cycling accident last year.
Here are some colon cancer facts from the American College of Gastroenterology:
· Colon cancer is the only form of cancer that is preventable.
· The best way to screen for colon cancer is a colonoscopy, which is an examination of the large intestine using a lighted tube.
· Colonnoscopy is among the most powerful tools in clinical medicine, because of its excellent potential to identify and permit removal of polyps before they turn into cancer.
· In general, doctors recommend that people undergo a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. African-Americans should begin screening at age 45.
· Early detection and intervention can reduce mortality from colon cancer by up to 90%.
By Jennifer Benedetto, MS, RD, LD at LMC
Did you know that diet and lifestyle contributes to 50% of all colon cancers? Since March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, here are some prevention tips:
-Limit red meat consumption. According to the American Cancer Society, your risk of colon cancer increases by 15-20% if you consume 100g of red meat (a small hamburger) or 50 g of processed meats (bacon, sausage, hot dogs) per day. Red meat contains heme iron which has been linked to cellular damage that can increase risk. Red and processed meats also stimulate the production of N- nitroso carcinogenic compounds in the body. Red meat cooked at high temperatures produces heterocyclic amines which are known to be carcinogenic. Limit red meat intake to 2, four ounce servings (about the size of a deck of cards) of red meat per week. Consume processed meats rarely since they contain preservatives (including nitrates) that can be carcinogenic.
-Avoid alcohol. The body converts alcohol to acetylaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Alcohol also can impair the body’s ability to repair DNA damage, increasing risk. If you choose to consume alcohol, limit intake to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
-Fill up on fiber. There is convincing evidence that dietary fiber protects against colon cancer. Obtaining a majority of your calories from minimally processed plant foods improves colon health. Fiber includes all parts of plant foods that the body is unable to digest or absorb. Whole plant foods contain a variety of types of fiber. Consuming a variety of fibers is recommended to gain health benefits. Boosting your fiber intake is easy, but should be done slowly. radually increasing fiber intake will decrease the risk of digestive discomfort. The Institute of Medicine recommends 38 g fiber/day for men under the age of 50 years old and 25 g for women in this age group. Adult men over the age of 50 years old should consume 30 g per day, and women 21 g/day. It is unclear if processed foods with added fiber have the same benefits as whole plant foods. Since whole plant foods contain other beneficial phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, it may be best to get your fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
-Power up with Prebiotics. Prebiotics are soluble fibers that are fermented in the colon to provide fuel to the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics allow these good bacteria to grow and flourish. Colon bacteria rely on prebiotics to make substances that maintain the health of our colon. It has been proposed that these fibers and the fermentation process prevent colon cells from becoming cancerous. Well researched prebiotic soluble fibers include inulin and oligofructose (FOS). These substances are found in plant foods including wild yams and other root vegetables, wheat, onions, garlic, bananas, leeks artichokes and yicama.
-Watch your weight. Excess body fat increases your risk of colon and other types of cancer. Overweight or obese individuals have higher insulin levels, which can promote tumor growth. Obesity creates a pro-inflammatory environment which can promote cancer. Being active can help regulate insulin levels and decrease inflammation.