Replantation of good healthy bacteriaColon cancer, rectal cancer and colorectal cancer are being linked increasingly to microbial problems in the gut. Researchers have shown that the disease is linked with less variety in the gut bacteria, and with more harmful strains.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute from December 2013 reports that higher levels of Fusobacterium can lead to cancer and lower levels of Clostridia, a bacterial class known to aid glucose metabolism.
Under normal conditions, a healthy flora contains a diverse range of bacteria. With colorectal cancer, it seems that the gut bacteria first loses its diversity. This results in a lack of good bacteria to compensate for and overwhelm any bad bacteria. The net result is that there is an overproduction of inflammatory molecules, leading to polyps and precancerous formations.
What we know is that your gut bacteria get ill first; this stops them from keeping dangerous microbes and yeasts in check. The human body is an organism of 7 trillion cells and 25,000 genes. The last thing we know is that in fact we are super-organisms of 100 trillion cells and 100,000 genes.
Over thousands of years, we have grown interdependent with the bacteria that live around us. We give them food and shelter, they provide us with compounds we cannot make for ourselves. But when they start to suffer, we become ill. Even worse, it seems we cannot become well until they do.
Over 800 different strains of bacteria are known to inhabit your gut. 400 have been identified and many control the level of microbes and yeasts living in your body. Recent US research concluded microbe infection was a big factor in colorectal cancer, far greater than many doctors and oncologists recognize. Beneficial bacteria levels in your gut can be enhanced by taking probiotics. However, simply taking one variety is unlikely to be enough. Diversity is crucial. Multi-strain probiotics do exist, each with 7 or 8 different strains. Some in America can have 25 different strains. But be aware of the volume, 40 billion per pill is ridiculous. You only need a few. You probably lose about 8 billion a day.
It’s what you eat that matters. Feed them the right foods and they will thrive. By feeding them the foods they love, such as whole foods and fibrous foods, their levels will quickly multiply.
Research is quite clear on beneficial bacteria like commensals or probiotics in the gut: they enhance your immune system, are essential in releasing vitamins and important health compounds from your food, help to excrete toxic chemicals from the body, and even produce a cancer-killing chemical. They can also consume over 2.2 kilograms of yeasts and microbes every night while you sleep. Over 4000 research studies exist providing clues as to how they not only prevent cancer, but can help you beat it if you already have it.
Polyp CancerA polyp is an overgrowth of the lining of the bowel wall. It usually looks like a raspberry dangling from the lining on a short stalk. They are commonly found in the colon, stomach, nose, urinary bladder and uterus.
Polyps of the colon and rectum are usually benign, which means that they are not cancerous and do not spread. You may have one or many polyps, but they do become more common and the risk factor grows with age and specially if there's family history of colon or polyp cancer.
The operationA colonoscopy means passing a flexible telescope or colonoscope, up the back passage also called rectum, into the lower bowel (colon) for a distance of about 5 feet. Usually, the polyp is snared with a hot wire and removed whole through the colonoscope. Bits and pieces of the polyp can be taken through the colonoscope if the polyp is too large to be capture.
The polyp, or the biopsies, are sent to be examined under the microscope. The bowel has to be cleaned out beforehand to give a clear view. You will also have a sedative injection or a short general anesthetic and you can go home the same day of your colonoscopy.
Any alternatives?Polyps can change into bowel cancer if left too long, that's why it's too risky for you to just leave things as they are. At that stage, other forms of scanning are no longer as useful as a hands-on colonoscopy.
Before the operation: You will have to follow instructions on how to clean out your bowel in the 48 hours before the colonoscopy is performed. This preparation will result in more frequent bowel motions than you’re used to, and to depositions that can be watery. Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you should be able to go home on the same day.
There are ways to prevent it: Consult your physician to get regular checkups and make sure you have everything under control, especially if you suffer from blood pressure or have heart/lung problems. Take into account these recommendations:
Check the hospital's advice about taking pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Bring all your tablets and medicines with you to the hospital. On the ward, you will be checked for past illnesses and will have special tests to make sure that you are well prepared and that you can have the procedure as safely as possible. You will be asked to fill in a procedure consent form.
Many hospitals now run special preadmission clinics, where you visit a week or so before the operation and get the aforementioned checkups. You will be asked to go on a special diet three days before the colonoscopy.