The musculoskeletal system is made of a lot of bones that helps in locomotion and protection of vital structures. The human diet often contains inadequate essential nutrients and minerals needed for proper functioning of our body. An average person consumes a meal high in carbohydrates and fats but lacking critical nutrients such as calcium and vitamin d.
Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for healthy muscle and bone development in humans. We can get calcium and vitamin D from different food sources. Milk is one of the favorite dairy products highly fortified with calcium, and vitamin D. Fishbone has been linked to vitamin d and calcium by scientist and food experts. However, races that come from countries with abundant sunlight often have sufficient vitamin D from sunlight. This is the primary reason why vitamin D deficiency is rare in the African race or nations with adequate sunlight.
The deficiency of these vital nutrients creates the need for supplements. There are some underlying fears about the necessity and importance of food supplements. The average person can’t afford a balanced meal, due to a lot of factors such as timing, finances, schedule, and cooking techniques. Most pharmaceutical companies manufacture different food supplements to complement our feeding system and help improve our feeding lifestyle.
There are different types of food supplement depending on your needs. Some supplements contain the necessary classes of foods like carbohydrates, protein, and fats. There are some vitamin and mineral supplements sold across the globe. However, there have been some fears about the effect of vitamin D and calcium supplements on colon cancer. If you are reading this, you are one of those looking for answers about the impact of these supplements on colon cancer, keep reading to know more about this.
What Causes Polyps to Form in the Colon?
Before we start talking about the etiologies of colon polyps, we need to know what colon polyps mean. There is the presence of numerous small lumps in the colon called colon polyps. Initially, it is often painless but could develop into carcinoma of the colon later in life.
There are 2 major types of colon polyps: cancerous or neoplastic polyps, and non-cancerous 0r non-neoplastic polyps. As the name implies, the cancerous polyps develop into colon cancer. Age (under than 50 years), obesity and consistent smoking are the leading risk factors for having colon polyps. The colon polyps, themselves are not dangerous; they are associated with other diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease which can predispose an individual to cancer.
The primary etiology of colon polyps is unknown, but there are several risk factors that increase the chances of someone having this disease. The risk factors for colon polyps include:
- Age: People above the age of 50 years are more prone to having colon polyps. The higher your age, the higher your chances and likelihood of having colon polyps.
- Obesity: Being obese or overweight places a lot of pressure on the colon and can lead to colon polyps.
- Past History: People with a recent history or family history of colon polyps are more prone to colon polyps than others.
- Associated Diseases: Some diseases such as Chron’s Diabetes mellitus, past ovarian or uterine cancer, are markers for colon polyps.
- Lifestyle: Some lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle choices lead to colon polyps.
- Diet: Low calcium diet increases the chances of having colon polyps. This problem can be solved by taking low-dose aspirin and high calcium diet.
Does Vitamin D Alone Raise Colon Cancer Risk?
Calcium supplements are a subject for debate because some scientific studies prove that calcium supplement helps in preventing colon cancer. However, there have been some recent studies showing that calcium supplements increase the risk of colon cancer (medical Journal Gut).
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium ion the body; these supplements are often prescribed together because they function as a synergist in keeping the muscular system active and healthy. It has been discovered that about half the population of Americans use vitamin D and calcium supplements together.
It has been discovered that there is 2.6 % chance of having colon cancer when taking calcium supplement alone compared to a staggering percentage of 3.8 percent risk in those that combines Vitamin D and calcium supplements. Taking Vitamin D alone does not raise colon cancer risk.
When Should People Begin Colon Cancer Screening?
Colon polyps are often prerequisite for colon cancers. The best way to eliminate colon cancer is to prevent the formation of polyps in the colon. Cancer screening is usually performed to detect the presence of diseases, even when they are asymptomatic.
The recommended age for colon cancer screening is 50 years (CDC). Adults within the age of 50-75 years should be screened for colorectal cancer, while people within the age range of 76-85 should ask their doctor about its safety (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force).
The optimal age for colorectal screening is 50 years; you should start screening when you turn 50 years. Consistent screening is necessary afterward to ascertain your health status. There is some exception, where screening before 50 years is needed. You should perform colorectal cancer screening earlier than 50 years in the following scenarios:
- Family History: You should consider conducting colon cancer screening earlier than 50 if you have a family history or close relatives with colon or colorectal cancer.
- Associated Diseases: The presence of other concomitant or related diseases such as Chron’s disease or inflammatory bowel diseases is a sufficient reason, to have your colon cancer screening earlier than 50 years.
- Genetic Diseases: Some genetic diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or lynch disease could worsen the prognosis of colon cancer. It is advisable to have your colon cancer screening earlier if you have any of this genetic disease.
What Kind of Doctor Treats Colon Cancer?
The combination of ma medical team which includes your primary physician, gastroenterologist, oncologist, and surgeon helps in the treatment of colon cancer. The first person you often meet is your primary physician, before another specialist.
Colon cancer is a prevalent disease in developed countries that is worsened by genetic predisposition and family history. The best age to start screening is 50 years, and vitamin D supplements alone do not cause colon cancer.
American Cancer Society Recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Early Detection. (2018). Cancer.org. Retrieved 13 March 2018, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html
Calcium Supplements May Raise the Risk of Colon Polyps, New Study Finds. (2018). Consumer Reports. Retrieved 13 March 2018, from https://www.consumerreports.org/dietary-supplements/calcium-supplements-may-raise-the-risk-of-colon-polyps/
CDC – What Should I Know About Screening for Colorectal Cancer?. (2018). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 13 March 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/index.htm
Colorectal Cancer – Screening. (2018). Cancer.Net. Retrieved 13 March 2018, from https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/screening
What kind of doctor treats colorectal cancer? | Colon Cancer Treatment. (2018). Sharecare. Retrieved 13 March 2018, from https://www.sharecare.com/health/colon-cancer-treatment/doctor-treates-colorectal-cancer