The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in late 2015 that processed meat can cause colorectal cancer in humans, classifying it as a Group 1 carcinogen.

Colorectal cancer affects both colon and rectum and is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. It is predicted that in 2016, this cancer will affect more than 95,000 people, while more than 39,000 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer.

Aside from helping to form, store and eliminate waste, your colon contains billions of bacteria, a healthy balance of which is essential for optimal health.

Even though this type of cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S, it is preventable and only 5 percent to 10 percent of cancer cases are due to genetic defects. 35 percent of cancer-related deaths may be due to diet, another 30 percent due to tobacco, 20 percent due to infections and the rest due to other environmental factors including exposure to radiation, stress, physical activity levels and environmental pollution.

However, there’s a 50% chance to prevent the disease. Here’s how:

1. Consume more fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and other cancer-fighting compounds such as magnesium. Just a 100 mg. increase in magnesium can lower the risk of colorectal tumors by 13%, while reducing the risk of colorectal cancer by 12. The anti-cancer effects of the mineral are probably due to its ability to reduce insulin resistance. The phytochemicals in fruits and veggies can also fight carcinogens and regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce. Vegetables are rich in fiber as well, which has been confirmed to lower cancer rates. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphene which can impair the growth of colon cancer-derived tumors.

Dry plums can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer as well by increasing the levels of the beneficial bacteria in your gut. However, increasing your fiber intake is the best way for prevention of cancer – according to a study, the risk decreases by 10% for every 10 gr. of fiber you consume. Dry plums contain a lot of fiber and polyphenols which are great against several types of cancer. Other great sources of fiber are chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds.

2. Improve the levels of Vitamin D

If our body lacks of vitamin D then it means that we are even more exposed to colorectal cancer.Sun exposure on a regular basis, taking vitamin D supplements, and using high-quality tanning bed can help you boost your vitamin D levels.Stay away from processed meat

We are consuming almost every day processed meat because we are not aware that processed meat can actually put in danger our health.Bacon,hot dogs,ham,hamburgers and some sausages are processed meat which we should avoid.Limit the consumption of red meat

According to a research, people who consume a lot of red meat have 24 % higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared to those people who eat less.The problem with the red meat, is not the meat itself, but the way it is prepared. For example, grass-fed beef contains compounds which fight cancer.

On the contrary, glyphosate, a compound which is part of the CAFO animals’ diet, is very harmful for the health.

Additionally, read meat which is fried or barbecued can also have carcinogenic byproducts like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines.

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3. Control your belly fat and maintain healthy

Obesity has been linked to increased risk of cancer by a number of studies. Losing extra belly fat is crucial since extra belly fat is related to increased risk of colon cancer. Losing even a little weight is significant for promoting your health.

4. Limit Your Alcohol Intake and Quit Smoking

Too much alcohol and cigarettes increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Even though it is best to completely eliminate alcohol, 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day is considered a normal and safe amount. As for smoking, there’s no such thing as “safe amount”, so it is best to quit it.

5. Eat More Fiber

Dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, particularly incident colorectal adenoma and distal colon cancer.8 Further, for every 10 grams of fiber you add to your daily diet, your risk of colon cancer decreases by 10 percent.

A 2005 study similarly revealed that dried plums “favorably altered … colon cancer risk factors” in rats, possibly due to their high content of dietary fiber and polyphenolics.

Fortunately, if you follow the tip above and eat more vegetables, you’ll naturally be eating more fiber from the best possible source — vegetables. Psyllium seed husk, flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds also provide valuable sources of soluble and insoluble fiber.

6. Avoid processed meats

Smoked, cured and salted meats are dangerous for your health and considered highly carcinogenic. These meats contain chemicals, preservatives and nitrates which have been known to cause cancer. According to the AICR, “there’s no safe threshold” for eating processed meats.

7. Avoid red meat

Red meat can cause colorectal cancer as well. The meat itself isn’t a problem, but the way it has been grown is. Organic grass-fed meat is fine, but the meat we usually buy comes from CAFO animals fed with grains contaminated by glyphosate, a dangerous carcinogen. When cooked at high temperatures, red meat can release heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can harm your health. If you must consume red meat, go for organic grass-fed meat.

8. Exercise

There is convincing evidence that regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer.15 One study revealed that physically active men and women have about a 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer compared with inactive persons, for instance.

For starters, exercise drives your insulin levels down, and controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. It’s also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.

Exercise also improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body, as well as destroy precancerous cells before they become cancerous. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at defending itself against infections and diseases like cancer.

9. Eat garlic

If you are ready to eliminate cancer then you must consume garlic.People who have reduced risk of colorectal and stomach cancers should eat more frequently garlic.Those who have inoperable forms of pancreatic or liver cancers can improve their condition just if they consume garlic for about 6 months.

Should You Have Routine Colonoscopies Starting at 50?

It is advisable for men and women over the age of 50 to have regular screening either by flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or by colonoscopy every 10 years since they belong to the group of having high risk of colorectal cancer. Ultrasounds have also proven to be of value. If polyps are found in their early stages, your doctor can simply snip them off right then and there. So a colonoscopy is not only a diagnostic tool, it can also serve as a surgical intervention. But, be aware that one in every 350 colonoscopies does serious harm. The death rate is about one for every 1,000 procedures. Moreover, about 80 percent of endoscopes are cleaned using Cidex (glutaraldehyde), which does NOT properly sterilize these tools.

Here are 15 more ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer:

1. Eliminate sugary drinks like soda and cut sugar from your diet
2. Do more walking, try to take 10.000 steps a day.
3. Consume green tea. It is rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a cancer-fighting catechin polyphenol.
4. Eat steamed broccoli
5. Consume Brazil nuts. They are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that’s especially beneficial for reducing the risk of prostate, colorectal and lung cancers.
6. Eat artichokes; they’re rich in silymarin, which is an antioxidant that may lower your risk of skin cancer.
7. Get regular sun exposure. It will increase your vitamin D levels.
8. Marinate your meat with spices, beer or wine, which can lower the formation of cancer-causing substances when you cook it.
9. Eat some “resistant starches” (such as green bananas), which act like fiber in your body. They may help reduce the risk of colon cancer from a diet high in red meat.
10. Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil and reducing your intake of processed vegetable oils, like corn, soy, and canola.
11. Sleep in complete darkness; light at night suppresses your body’s production of melatonin, which has anti-cancer effects
12. Eat onions. They contain cancer-fighting quercetin; quercetin inhibits the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial and lung tumors.
13. Avoid environmental toxins, including the cancer-causing dry cleaning chemical perc (perchloroethylene).
14. Avoid French fries and potato chips, which may contain high levels of cancer-causing acrylamide (a compound formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures).
15. Eat fermented vegetables; they’re excellent for your gut health and the fermentation process involved in creating sauerkraut produces cancer-fighting compounds such as isothiocyanates, indoles and sulforaphane.