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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Colorectal Cancer Can be Prevented: Dr. Paul Stallone discusses how diet choices have a big impact on prevention and treatment

Apr 30, 2014 10:11AM ● By Dr. Paul Stallone

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer (CC), is the third most common type of cancer in both males and females. There are close to 150,000 new cases each year in the United States, and more than 50,000 deaths. Some experts estimate 70 percent of CC could be prevented by changes in diet and nutrition alone.

One study showed CC patients with the highest glycemic and carbohydrate intake had an 80 percent increased risk of CC recurrence or death compared with those that had the lowest levels. Studies are looking into the real possibility of the growing cases of CC being related to rising obesity rates.

With all the research showing the significant increase of cancer recurrence with an unhealthy diet, it’s no surprise that studies also prove certain diets have a direct impact on people developing cancer in the first place. Processed food consumption not only adds inches to the waist, it initiates a biological reaction upon entering the body. Fried and hydrogenated foods modify cell structure, which can lead to damage of cellular DNA, a precursor to cancer.

Refined carbohydrates and sugars increase insulin production and blood glucose levels, which can lead to conditions like diabetes. Sugars and carbs provide outstanding fuel for cancer cell growth. Red meat and processed meats like hot dogs, salami, deli meat and bacon elevate levels of N-nitroso compounds, a matter found within the large colon. The danger comes from the compound adhering to DNA, thereby increasing the odds of the cell developing a mutation.

Just as an unhealthy diet may contribute to cancer, a healthy diet may help prevent it. The fiber found in fresh fruits and vegetables may drastically reduce the chance of CC. Fiber is exceedingly important when it comes to colon health, because it bulks up stool and gives the colon something to move out. Fiber also attracts toxins and other waste material that the body needs to eliminate. Without fiber, stool can sit for days or longer in the colon, and having toxic material waiting in the colon provides opportunity for cancer to thrive.

Broccoli is considered by many to be the number one food for cancer prevention. Uncooked broccoli contains two of the most powerful anti-cancerous compounds, diinodylmethane and sulforaphane, which can effectively suppress tumor growth. Raw to lightly cooked broccoli can provide the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, 20 percent of daily dietary fiber, and is an excellent source of vitamins A, E and K.

Sweet potatoes are abundant in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C and E, pantothenic acid and manganese. High intake of these antioxidants, vitamins and minerals aid in regularity, which helps reduce the colon’s exposure to toxins. Sweet potatoes also contain phytosterols, a nutrient known for its defense against CC.

Fermented, but unprocessed, foods like sauerkraut and Greek yogurt contain probiotics, the beneficial bacteria essential for overall health. Good flora prevents the colonization of potential pathogens, the “bad” bacteria. It’s very important to choose a high-quality yogurt if using it in the prevention of disease. Commercial yogurt may contain as much sugar as a can of soda, as well as artificial coloring and preservatives, which may not be as healthy as we thought.

CC is considered by many experts as a silent killer, because most patients are non-symptomatic, which allows the disease to metastasize to areas outside the colon before treatment can begin. Those needing immediate prevention or even treatment for cancer are urged to consult with an experienced naturopathic physician as part of their cancer care. Natural therapies are a great adjunct to conventional treatment and are incredibly successful with addressing cancer during any stage. Even if cancer has not been confirmed, a naturopathic physician can make recommendations for daily choices that could help prevent disease, the best way to treat a patient.

Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit

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