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Colon cancer prevention guide

Step 6. Avoid common cancer triggers

Colorectal cancer is a last ditch response of the large intestine to the hostile environment created by the “end-user.” By “hostile environment” I mean the sum of all external and internal cancer triggers. When these triggers overpower your immune system, the malignancy takes over. Avoid these triggers, and you are less likely to ever experience colorectal cancer.

Just like with most other cancers, there are primary and secondary triggers of colorectal cancer. These triggers are represented by mechanical, chemical, and biological risk factors that (1) may cause cell mutation (that precedes tumors), or (2) the inflammation of the mucosal membrane that strips the colon and rectum from its innate protection against chemical, bacterial, and viral pathogens, or (3) both.

— The mechanical triggers include the already discussed large stools and straining.  Technically, man-made x-ray and electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from power lines, cell phones, radars, and radio transmitters is also a mechanical trigger, although the radiation's ultimate destructive action — abnormal cellular mutation — is biological.

— The chemical triggers include medicines, alcohol, food additives, your own bile (if it isn't fully neutralized and utilized in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine), and environmental hazards, such as herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, dioxin, trans fats, and countless others.

— The biological triggers are malnutrition, bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile , implicated in colon cancer, viruses, infection with cancerous cells from other organs. The inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are also “biological,” but since these conditions are caused by the same triggers that cause colon cancer, technically they aren't triggers, but symptoms or markers.

Amazingly, if you read just about any guide on colorectal cancer, from the National Cancer Institute to The Merck Manual, and everything in-between, you won't find a single mention of most of these secondary causes. Don't ask me why, ask them!

The following suggestions should help you to reduce or eliminate most of the secondary triggers associated with any cancer, not just colorectal. Following  80/20 rule, I'll list the dominant ones for colorectal cancer. Avoiding them will give you the most return with the least investment of effort:

This list is far from comprehensive, but it is sufficiently representative. Anything that may cause or contribute to any other cancer, such as the cancer of lungs, or breasts, or prostate, may also cause or contribute to colorectal cancer simply because cancer cells spread throughout the body with the blood and lymph, and are further enabled by the depressed immune system. 

Each little step and each little conscious effort to eliminate known carcinogens helps a great deal to shield yourself from all cancers, not just colorectal. And the more steps you take, the stronger the shield, so you can slack off in some other areas. This is why some lucky people may smoke their entire lives, and don't get lung cancer, and why others enjoy a perpetual tan without ever experiencing melanoma.

Primary causes, a depressed immunity, and secondary triggers accumulate with age. The brunt of colorectal cancer epidemic centers around people in their late sixties, earlier seventies. Not so much because they are “old,” but mainly because they are “aged.” Growing old without getting aged is our next and final step in our quest to escape colorectal cancer's deadly embrace.