Infographic for PCN Blog post Colon Cancer: Risks, Prevention and Management

Colon Cancer; risks, prevention and Management

Colon cancer is the 2nd most deadly form of cancer. Often referred to as ass cancer.  Fortunately, it is also a highly curable form of cancer if it is detected and treated early.  In this article, I will share some of the most common factors related to causing colon cancer as well as some of the most common nutrient and lifestyle choices you can make to help prevent or manage colon cancer.


Top 5 Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

Tabletop with a glass of liquor and a smoking cigarette on a tray

  1. Age: 90% of those diagnosed with colon cancer are over 50 years old.
  2. Diet: Poor or Toxic Food Choices
  3. Imbalanced High Fat Diet Over-consumption of Canola, Corn, Vegetable and Soybean oil can increase inflammation and cancer. (See “Fats and Cancer” Article) (1a,1b,1c)
  4. Over Consumption of Bad Red Meats that aren’t organic and grass fed free range (See “Protein and Cancer” Article).
  5. Over Consumption of Sugary and High Carbohydrate Foods (See Sugars and Cancer” Article) can increase colon cancer by over 50% (2).  
  6. Over-consumption of Non-Organic Dairy Products like cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, whey protein and more. They may have rBGH or other growth hormones, will raise your IGF-1 levels and increases cancer.
  7. Lifestyle: Smoking, Heavy Alcohol Use, Obesity and Lack of Exercise
  8. Personal or Family History: Colonic Polyps, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Genetics (abnormal methylated genes)
  9. Poor Microbiome from Diet and Antibiotics: Overabundance of Bad Bacteria and Not enough Good Bacteria has been found to increase the risk of Colon Cancer from inflammation (3) and Production of Cancerous Cells (4).

You can read more about dietary choices and effects in my blog post Top 12 Cancer Causing Foods.


Top 10 Factors for Prevention and Management of Colon Cancer

photo of youthful couple stretching with exercise

  1. Apigenin: A Plant Flavonoid found in Parsley stems and leaves, Celery and Chamomile Tea. Found to induce apoptosis (kill) in colon cancer cells. (5)
  2. Full Spectrum CBD: CBD Oil (without the need for THC in it) has been found to inhibit the growth of Colon, Breast, Brain and Lung Cancer. (6)
  3. Vitamin D: From Sunlight or Supplements. A Deficiency has been found to correlate or contribute to many types of cancers such as Colon, Breast, Prostate and Ovarian. Vitamin D intake is strongly correlated to a reduction in colorectal cancer risk (7a,7b).
  4. Increased Fiber Intake: Polysaccharides found in Inulin, Cellulose, Pectin and Psyllium Husk found in foods like Whole Grains, Oats, Green Leafy Vegetables, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Chicory Root, Fruits, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes have been found to be “associated with the suppressed colonic inflammation and carcinogenesis” and “a promising prebiotic candidate for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer”. (8)
  5. Fruits and Vegetables: Consume 2.5 servings daily to significantly decrease risk of colorectal cancer. Especially Green Leavy Vegetables, Berries and Cruciferous Vegetables (9a). And Aged Garlic Extract for suppressing tumor formation and oxidative damage.  (9b)
  6. Fatty Fish: Take in more Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in wild caught fish (see Protein and Cancer Article) which has been found to delay cachexia (wasting away) and prompt colon cancer cell death.
  7. Flaxseeds: Has been found to modify gene expression, prevent colon cancer development and decrease inflammatory enzymes. (10)
  8. Turmeric: Curcumin is in Turmeric and has been found to inhibit cancerous cell growth, reduce inflammation and assist with killing (apoptosis) cancer cells. (11-14)
  9. Exercise: Helps with positive gene expression, tumor suppression and significant reduction is the risk of death from colorectal cancer.
  10. B12: A methyl donor supporting methylation. Found in organic grass fed meats, organs, sardines, wild salmon, Methylated B12 sublingual supplements and B12 injections.

For more information about the foods that you should be incorporating into your daily diet, read my posts Best Cancer Fighting Foods and Nutrients and Cocoa – A balanced part of an Anti-Cancer Diet


Final Thoughts

Of course, there is much more to colon cancer than this brief overview. Ultimately you should be following the advice of your doctor. This article is not meant to treat, diagnose or cure any condition or cancer. This information is intended for educational purposes only.  If you are wanting to prevent colon cancer or help keep it from coming back, these are some great proven tips and tricks I have found that could help you. However, please consult with your physician.

Sources and References

(1a) Cave WT Jr. “Omega 3 fatty acid diet effects on tumorigenesis in experimental animals.”, World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. 1991; 66:462-76

(1b) Singh J, Hamid R, Reddy BS.  “Dietary fat and colon cancer: modulating effect of types and amount of dietary fat on ras-p21 function during promotion and progression stages of colon cancer”. Cancer Research. 1997;57(2):253-8.

(1c) Gutt CN, Brinkmann L, Mehrabi A, Fonouni H, Müller-Stich BP, Vetter G, Stein JM, Schemmer P, Büchler MW. “Dietary omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent the development of metastases of colon carcinoma in rat liver”. European Journal of Nutrition. 2007 Aug;46(5):279-85.

(2) Fung T1, Hu FB, Fuchs C, Giovannucci E, Hunter DJ, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC., “Major dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancer in women”. Archives of Internal Medicine,  2003 Feb 10;163(3):309-14.

(3) Jiyoung Ahn, Rashmi Sinha, Zhiheng Pei, Christine Dominianni, Jing Wu, Jianxin Shi, James J. Goedert, Richard B. Hayes, Liying Yang, “Human Gut Microbiome and Risk for Colorectal Cancer”, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 105, Issue 24, 18 December 2013, Pages 1907–1911,

(4) Maria Jose Olieira, Josef Van Damme, Tineke Lauwaet, Veerle De Corte, Georges Ce Bruyne, Gerda Verschraegen, et al., “β-Casein-Derived Peptides, Produced by Bacteria, Stimulate Cancer Cell Invasion and Motility,” EMBO Journal 22, no. 22 (November 17, 2003): 6163-73, doi:10.1093/emboj/cdg586.

(5) Hu Wang, Tin Khor, Limin Shu, Zheng-Yuan Su, Francisco F. Fuentes, Jong Hun Lee, and Ah-Ng Tony Kong, “Plants vs Cancer: A Review of Natural Phytochemicals in Preventing and Treating Cancers and Their Druggability,” Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 12, no. 10 (May 2012): 1281-305, doi:10.2174/187152012803833026.

(6) Paola Massi, Marta Solinas, Valentine Cinquina, and Daniela Parolaro, “Cannabidiol as Potential Anticancer Drug,” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 75, no. 2 (February 2013): 303-12, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2152.2012.04298.x.

(7a) Cynthia Aranow. “Vitamin D and the Immune System,” Journal of Investigative Medicine 59, no. 6 (August 2011): 881-86, doi:10.231/JIM.Ob013e31821b8755

(7b) Lieberman DA1, Prindiville S, Weiss DG, Willett W; VA Cooperative Study Group 380. “Risk factors for advanced colonic neoplasia and hyperplastic polyps in asymptomatic individuals”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003 Dec 10;290(22):2959-67.

(8) Guo M, Li Z, “Polysaccharides isolated from Nostoc commune Vaucher inhibit colitis-associated colon tumorigenesis in mice and modulate gut microbiota.”, Food and Function. 2019 Oct 4. doi: 10.1039/c9fo00296k.

(9a) Paul Terry, Edward Giovannucci, Karin B. Michels, Leif Bergkvist, Holger Hansen, Lars Holmberg, Alicja Wolk, “Fruit, Vegetables, Dietary Fiber, and Risk of Colorectal Cancer”, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 93, Issue 7, 4 April 2001, Pages 525–533,

(9b) Carmia Borek, “Antioxidant Health Effects of Aged Garlic Extract”, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 3, March 2001, Pages 1010S–1015S,

(10) Mazda Jenab, Lilian U. Thompson, “The influence of flaxseed and lignans on colon carcinogenesis and β-glucuronidase activity”, Carcinogenesis, Volume 17, Issue 6, June 1996, Pages 1343–1348,

(11) Menon VP, Sudheer AR. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2007;595:105-25.

(12) Dhillon N, Aggarwal BB, Newman RA, Wolff RA, Kunnumakkara AB, Abbruzzese JL, Ng CS, Badmaev V, Kurzrock R. “Phase II Trial of Curcumin in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.” Clinical Cancer Research. 2008 Jul 15;14(14):4491-4499.

 (13) Cruz-Correa M, Shoskes DA, Sanchez P, Zhao R, Hylind LM, Wexner SD, Giardiello FM. “Combination treatment with curcumin and quercetin of adenomas in familial adenomatous polyposis.” Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2006 Aug;4(8):1035-8.

 (14) Sharma RA, Euden SA, Platton SL, Cooke DN, Shafayat A, Hewitt HR, Marczylo TH, Morgan B, Hemingway D, Plummer SM, Pirmohamed M, Gescher AJ, Steward WP.

“Phase I clinical trial of oral curcumin: biomarkers of systemic activity and compliance.”

Clinical Cancer Research. 2004 Oct 15;10(20):6847-54.

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