March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month | Eat Plants
The National Cancer Institute lists colorectal cancer is the forth highest type of cancer diagnosed in the United States.
Colorectal cancer is a combination of colon cancer and rectal cancer. Combined they are thesecond leading cause of cancer death (50,260) in the United States behind lung cancer (155,870).
These rates are not common throughout the world though. The high rates are associated with the consumption of a Western diet high in meat, dairy, and processed foods.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month aims to bring awareness to the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Most colorectal cancers develop through the breakdown of the protective mucous membrane lining the inner wall of the colon.
Cells within the mucous membrane become damaged and form into growths called polyps and can then form into colorectal cancers.
Colorectal Cancer Statistics in the United Sates
The American Cancer Society indicated 1 in 21 (4.7%) of men and 1 in 23 (4.4%) of women in the United States are at risk for developing colorectal cancer over their lifetime.
A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology showed that since 1985 colorectal cancer rates for white-Americans have dropped 20% to 25%.
At the same time colorectal cancers cases for African-American men has gone up. The rate for African-American women has remained the same.
African-Americans are 38% to 43% more likely to die from colon cancer than are white-Americans.
Colorectal cancer is rare among black Sub-Saharan Africans. This indicates the issue is influenced greatly by environmental factors and not genetics.
Low Animal Protein, Low Animal Fat, and High Fiber Diets Protect Against Colorectal Cancer
The Gastrointestinal Clinic, Groote Schuur Hospital, and University of Cape Town Observatory studied why colorectal cancer was so rare in black Sub-Saharan Africans, being less than 1 in 100,000.
Contrary to popular thought, high fiber diets weren’t the primary reason for the low incidence of cancer. Their diets were low in animal protein and fat which removed thecancer causing toxins from the diet.
The study implicated diets high in animal protein and fat and their associated carcinogenic toxins as being the primary reason for the breakdown of the colon’s mucous membrane and the development of colorectal cancer.
There are various variables that contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. An important variable is the way animal protein and fat changed gut microbes.
Diets high in animal protein and fat promoted the development of gut microbes that were predominantly of the “bacteroides” species. Plant based diets promoted the development of gut microbes that were predominantly of the “prevotella” species.
The bacteroides species is generally associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.
The bacteroides species dominated the colons of African Americans and Americans in general. The prevotella species dominated the colons of native Africans.
Protecting Against Colorectal Cancer
Eliminate or severely reduce the consumption animal protein and fat and their carcinogenic toxins. This would protect the mucous membrane of the colon and rectum, and stop feeding the cancer.
Plant Foods and Plant Fiber Protect Against Colon Cancer
Diets high in meat, dairy, and processed foods also lack fiber. Plant based diets are high fiber diets that provide roughage that help to sweep waste out of the digestive tract.
Low fiber diets cause the muscles in the digestive tract to strain to move waste along. This causes perforations and weakens the colon’s protective cell lining.
The plant fiber also feeds the “good” bacteria in the colon so they can multiply. This allows the good bacteria to keep the “bad” bacteria in check.
The good bacteria also feed on plant fiber and produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate is the vital fuel source for the protective layer of cells that line the colon and keeps the colon healthy.
Dr. Greger’s video “How Not to Die from Cancer” shows that plant phytonutrients not only slow the progression of cancer but also trigger “apoptosis” or programmed cell death in cancer cells.
Plant Herbs Protect Against Colon Cancer
People have used herbs for hundreds of years in traditional medicine to protect the colon. Many people now rely on cancer medicines to address cancer after it has taken a foothold in the colon.
The use of these medicines address the symptoms of the problem and not the problem. The removal of meat, dairy, and processed foods stop the the introduction of carcinogenic compounds into the colon.
Like plant foods, herbs contain phytonutrients that arrest colorectal cancer. Herbs contain a higher concentrations and specialized varieties of these compounds.
Plant herbs like cascara sagrada and blessed thistle strengthen and repair the colon. They also provide phytonutrients that arrest colorectal cancer development and promote cancer cell death.
Learn More: Use Herbs To Support Health and Vitality »
Learn More: Protective Natural Alkaline Plant Foods »
 D Anastasios, K Syrigos, M W Saif. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009 Aug 14; 15(30): 3734–3743.
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