Archive for August, 2010
It’s estimated that, on average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the daily recommended levels of fibre- which could be a problem, since fibre consumption has been shown to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels, lower variance in blood sugar levels and facilitate regularity.
But not everyone should be eating a diet rich in fibre. We recently received an inquiry from a patient looking for low-fibre recipes that would be suitable for a post-ileostomy diet. This individual was also instructed by a physician to put on weight. Tricky!
PUTTING ON WEIGHT
Let’s discuss each problem independently of the other. Putting on weight safely and healthfully can be just as difficult as losing weight can be. The key is to keep your diet healthy, while introducing more calorie-dense foods. Katherine Zeratsky, Registered Dietitian with the Mayo Clinic, suggests the following, upon clearance from your physician:
- Eat more frequently- five to six small meals through the day
- Eat nutrient-dense foods, like nuts, seeds, lean protein, low-fat dairy products etc
- Drink fluids at least 30 minutes before meals, but not with. This will let you keep your appetite for the nutritious foods you’ll be eating
- Limit diet soda, coffee and tea. These items have little nutritional value and few calories. Instead, consider homemade smoothies with a variety of fresh fruits and lean dairy products
- Add calorie-dense snacks, such as nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruits, or avocado. You may with to have a small bedtime snack as well.
- Add cheese to casseroles, soups and scrambled eggs; nonfat dried milk to stews, and lean chicken to soups
- When selecting sweets, be sure to select items that also provide nutrients. Yogurt, fruit and granola bars are good choices.
- Exercise! It may seem counter-intuitive, but regular exercise will stimulate your appetite. If your doctor condones it, consider starting a moderate weight training routine as well.
Click here to read more.
The British Columbia Cancer Agency has created an excellent resource on low-fibre options that you may wish to share with your doctor or Registered Dietitian when creating an ileostomy-friendly diet plan. Among their recommendations:
- Have very small servings of food
- Eat more often throughout the day. Aim for six to seven small snacks per day
- Drink as much as you can. Aim for six to eight cups of fluids per day
- A multivitamin and mineral supplement may be necessary if your diet is very restricted
- Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse. These might include: vegetables like booked spinach, swiss chard, and peas; Figs/dates, prunes and some berries; High-fibre cereals like All Bran, Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran; whole-wheat pastas and breads; Snacks such as popcorn; Legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils
- You may be more comfortable with low-fibre foods, including: vegetables such as asparagus, cucumber, peppers, skinless potatoes, tomato, lettuce and mushrooms; fruits such as cantaloupe, banana, watermelon and grapes; hot cereals such as Cream of Wheat; Cold cereals such as Rice Krispies or Cornflakes; White, cracked wheat or 60% whole wheat bread, plain bagels or flatbreads; regular noodles and pastas; white ric; any lean meat; any lean dairy
- If your symptoms become more frequent and intense, your doctor may recommend temporarily cutting out fruits and vegetables alltogether, or temporarily avoiding all solid foods
Click here to read more
The American Cancer Society’s new cookbook, What to Eat During Cancer Treatment, helps cancer patients and their caregivers by providing great recipes and useful, comforting advice about cancer nutrition.
Click here to purchase
The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook is designed to help patients through difficult nutritional situation. Kimberly Mathai, a registered dietitian, and Ginny Smith, a freelance health journalist worked together to create this resource.
Click here to purchase
Over 138,000 French-language copies sold, now available in English! A highly accessible and practical text, with beautiful full-colour illustrations.
Click here to purchase
Surprisingly, constipation may be more common than diarrhea when it comes to the gastrointestinal side effects of cancer treatment. Some things to keep in mind:
- Continue to take your medication as prescribed, especially if your medical team has dispensed it to prevent the condition. In other words, don’t wait until the symptom arises to start taking your prescribed medicine;
- After consulting your medical team, remain physically active every day. Even a short walk can make you feel more comfortable;
- Stay hydrated with non-caffeinated fluids. While water is the best choice, you may wish to supplement with fluids like natural juices and smoothies if you are losing excessive weight during treatment. Soups and snacks such as popsicles can add to your daily fluid intake, too. Ask your medical team for suggestions;
- Consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian about increasing the amount of fiber in your diet slowly;
- Replace unhealthy snacks with delicious, fiber-rich dried fruit, like apricots, raisins, prunes or dates.;
- A warm drink at breakfast time can provide comfort; and
- Some foods you may wish to limit: softdrinks, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dried beans, peas, onions, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, radishes, turnips and watercress
If you are experiencing constipation, do not:
- Use excessive force or strain hard while taking a bowel movement
- Use laxative medications order tramadol online without first consulting a doctor or nurse
- Indulge heavily in foods that may worsen constipation, including cheese and chocolate (sorry!)
- Use enemas without the approval of a doctor, especially if you have a low white blood cell count.
Seek advice from your doctor if:
- More than two days has passed since your last bowel movement;
- Your constipation is accompanied by a fever;
- You witness blood in your stool;
- You have used a laxative (as per your doctors instructions) and have not had a bowel movement within 36 hours;
- Your constipation is accompanied by persistent cramps, nausea or vomiting.
Click here to read some more guidelines, from chemocare.com.
Your daily bologna-on-white is not just bland, it’s potentially detrimental to your health. When meat is preserved by canning, curing, salting, smoking or the addition of powerful preservatives, cancer-causing compounds can be formed. Not worth the risk for a bland hot dog or slice of deli ham, is it?
It’s not just your digestive system that will benefit from a break from processed deli meats. Cutting out these preserved meats can go a long way to cutting down your daily sodium intake as well. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation reminds us that excess dietary salt can increase the amount of blood in the arteries, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Click here to explore the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s dietary guidelines- and see how similar keeping your heart healthy is to keeping your colon healthy!
The CCAC urges you to limit your red meat intake to just a few ounces per week, so don’t waste your weekly servings on a paltry helping of overly salty, low-quality meat. Next time you’re packing lunch for yourself or your family members, consider replacing processed meats with some of the flavourful alternatives listed after the cut.
The Victor Richard Bicycle Ride entered its third incredible year on August 15th, 2010. Crucial funds were raised for the CCAC while a number of skilled cyclists inspired us to stay fit and ride, ride, ride!
Victor Richard exuded sensational joie de vivre, even throughout his treatment for Stage IV colon cancer. His youngest son, Paul Richard, started the “Victor Richard Cross-country Bicycle Ride” after his father’s legacy of athleticism and in honour of his spirit of giving.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this very challenging ride!
Edmonton is home of CCAC Cancer Coaches Deseree Dobson and Holly Pryma, organizers of the Slo Pitch Tournament for Hope and Awareness. The former alerted us that the iconic GetYourButtSeen butt has now been posted to select buses in the Edmonton area!
The Giant Colon continues its tour across Canada with a stop on Christian Island, a large island in Ontario’s Georgian Bay. The Island is home to the Beausoleil First Nation, a Chippewa people. Throughout most of the year, the island’s population is about 700 people, a number that swells during the summer months due to tourism,
An astounding 674 member of the community came to learn about the pathologies of the colon! Young and old alike were gathered for the Beausoleil Health Fair, an educational event that took place on Thursday, August 5th.
A morning prayer was led by Leon King, followed by an opening ceremony by the newly elected Head Chief Roland Monague. Also in attendance were Alethea Kewayosh from the Aboriginal Cancer Strategy (of Cancer Care Ontario), Rina Chuya-Alanag, Population Screening Manager for the Strategy and Fire Chief Alan Manitowabi.
After the cut, you’ll find pictures from the incredible, eye-opening day-long event.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2010) — Anemia, a common blood disorder characterized by low hemoglobin levels, has long been associated with those suffering from colorectal cancer. But researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that, more than a symptom of active disease, low hemoglobin levels can actually indicate a potential for colon cancer years before it’s diagnosed.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
The Shop Talk Movement is an initiative by the American Cancer Society, the University of South Carolina’s Center for Colon Cancer Research, the South Carolina Cancer Alliance and Tia Brewer-Footman and Gerald Footman, the owners of Hair Etc. magazine and trade expo. The movement focuses on outreach to African Americans, who may be at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Based on the premise that chair-chat during a haircut could save lives, the program has educated 130 haircare professionals about colorectal cancer and how to raise the topic with their clients. By the conclusion of the program’s pilot, it’s estimated that the trained stylists will have reached out to 2.500 community members with messages of screening and general awareness.
Click here to read more about the Shop Talk Movement.
The CCAC applauds the efforts of all parties involved in making this truly original project a reality!
There are numerous studies that point to sedentary work environments (the average 9-to-5 office gig) as colorectal cancer risk factors, when not balanced out by excerise and healthful eating. However, some professionals, including printing machine operators, workers in food manufacturing and workers employed in the petroleum product trade are at an increased risk due to the materials they encounter on the job. Click here to read more about the occupational risk of colorectal cancer. One of the most-documented of these risk-factor professions is firefighting.
The CCAC urges everyone to go cigarette-free to decrease their colorectal cancer risk. What about the men and women who are exposed to smoke throughout their entire careers?
An ABC News article pointed us to the case of retired Boston firefighter Tom Alden, a 30-year veteran of the profession who had been diagnosed with Stage III colorectal cancer. “I’ve sucked in a lot of smoke over the years. There’s a lot of stuff that’s burning in a house that’s harmful to you, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I got cancer. I just wouldn’t.” Click here to read the original article.
Findings of University of Cincinnati environmental health researchers indeed suggest that the protective equipment used by firefighters may not be able to protect against the cancer-causing agents they are repeatedly exposed to. Common chemicals, including benzene, styrene, chloroform and formaldehyde can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. In addition to the risk inherent to exposure burning chemicals found in the average home, the practice of idling firetrucks exposes firefighters to harmful diesel exhaust fumes.
So in addition to the obvious dangers of the profession, firefighters may face cumulative dangers at the cellular level. Among the achievements of the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation (FFCF) is the formation of a database tracking the occupational diseases for all firefighters in Canada and the United States, with the hopes of producing the data needed to encourage legislative action and encouraging further research.
The bottom line: Even with following the CCAC’s nutrition and lifestyle guidelines, your career may be putting you at a higher risk. Talk to your physician about early screening measures and encourage your doctor to consider your profession a heightened risk factor.
Just look at that storm cloud in the background! Could it be the whirlwind media frenzy that our iconic GetYourButtSeeen bottom is bringing to Halifax?
Metro Halifax has already picked up the story, and we hear there’s been talk of the campaign on the radio, too. Response has been very positive, but some worry it’s too edgy.
Get shocked and get SCREENED, we say!