- In New Zealand, colorectal cancer causes as many deaths each year as breast and prostate cancers combined.
- Each year, almost 3,000 New Zealanders are newly diagnosed – making it our most common cancer affecting both men and women.
- New Zealand has one of the highest death rates from bowel cancer in the developed world.
- Three times as many people die as a result of colorectal cancer than road traffic accidents.
- New Zealand women have the highest bowel cancer rates in the world.
There's no doubt that colon cancer is a massive problem in our country. It's affected our family directly with my dad dying of it a few years ago. He was 58. Personally I don't think people talk about it often enough, especially compared with the media attention other cancers in New Zealand get. Call me crazy, but I believe that one reason we don't talk about it and there are no major tv campaigns telling people that colon cancer is predominantly diet and lifestyle related, is because our major industries, meat and dairy, would take a massive hit from it.
97% of colon cancers are preventable. 97%!!
So it's not the most glamorous topic, but It dumbfounds me as to why one of New Zealands biggest killers, that is 97% preventable, remains so silent in the media and gets just a tiny fraction of the funding other cancers get!
Bowel cancer is directly linked to meat, alcohol, dairy protein and sugar intakes and low-fibre diets. These things have zero fibre. None at all. You need fibre to help food move through the digestive tract and be eliminated. Otherwise it just sits there, fermenting away.
“It takes about 15 years from the first bowel cancer-initiating DNA damage to full-blown cancer, so the earlier we improve our diets the better”
Dr. Trevor Lockett, CSIRO, the Journal of Nutrition, April 2012.
The 2011 World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is the result of a five-year process by an international panel of the world's leading independent scientists covering over 7,000 studies on cancer. It was funded using money raised from the general public therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests (such as meat, drug, cigarette or dairy marketing boards). The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research had independent scientists at Imperial College in London review all the 1,012 ‘cancer and diet’ studies in the medical literature. This is the most-comprehensive, evidence-based research on cancer and diet ever undertaken in history. Then after that, another Independent Expert Panel reviewed the results and made judgements. What did they recommend?
“Consume a plant-based diet. On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat.”
"High childhood total dairy intake was associated with a near-tripling in the risk of colorectal cancer compared with low intake, independent of meat, fruit, and vegetable intakes and socioeconomic indicators. Milk intake showed a similar association."
Studies are consistently showing a plant based diet is the best diet for preventing early death from bowel cancer. Why? Cause plant based diets are high in fibre. New Zealand is so constipated we don't even know what is deemed constipation! If you go to any traditional Chinese doctor, one of the first things they will ask you is "how many bowel movements are you having each day and what are they like?"
A very good diet specialist once explained it to me like this; you need to be having one bowel movement per meal. Yes, you read right. One per meal. Because every meal accumulates a certain amount of waste in your colon. Food doesn't just disappear once you eat them. So if you are eating 3 meals a day, you should be eliminating 3 times a day. At the very least, twice a day. So you see, if you are eating 21 meals a week (and this doesn't consider all the snacking), and only go 3 times a week, you have an extra 18 meals still sitting inside you. So where do the extra meals go? They ferment inside you, then those toxins accumulated reabsorb back into the blood stream and circulate throughout the body. ALSO, the extra crap starts forming polyps - which can eventually lead to colon cancer. So just like babies do, we should be eating and eliminating, eating and eliminating.
So what are the best forms of fibre to prevent you from being full of crap?
So go out and buy some veggies this weekend people! Don't even worry 'bout cooking them...eat them raw. Easiest fast food ever.