Did you know that cooking at high temperatures can produce harmful carcinogens? The research sure isn’t popular during BBQ season!
When high-protein, high-fat foods like meat are cooked to the point of charring, the large quantities of creatine in the meat’s muscle cells chemically bond with the amino acids of the protein to form heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have the ability to bond to DNA and cause genetic mutations that can trigger the growth of cancer. Further, the meat’s fat may oxidize, a process that produces compounds like malondialdehyde, which have similar abilities in terms of genetic mutations. Studies do conclude that high consumption of HCAs can be found in colorectal cancer patients.
If you’re a BBQ fan, the good news is that you may be able to reduce the carcinogens produced in high-heat cooking.
- Overall, base your diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Eat meat in small quantities, grilled or otherwise
- Cook “low and slow”. Even if two pieces of meat are cooked to the same level, the piece cooked over a lower heat and longer period will contain fewer carcinogenic compounds
- Marinate your meat. This is probably the tastiest tip on the list! Research shows that the use of herbs and spices may inhibit the formation of carcinogenic compounds
- Limit the amount of fat that is allowed to drip onto the grill. Achieve this by using tongs rather than a fork to manipulate the meat, as piercing will cause fat to run out
- Consider lining your barbecue with tinfoil. Be sure to poke some holes so that smoke can escape. When the fat drips, it will avoid touching the hot coals, and will reduce the chances of your meat charring
- Grill up those veggies! Many vegetables can play a delicious role in your afternoon barbecue- try portobello mushrooms, sweet peppers, zuchinni, eggplant and asparagus
No need to give up grilling for good- but please do take these simple steps to avoid increasing your cancer risk!
From May 19th to 21st, the Toronto Mariott Eaton Centre Hotel was flooded with men and women from all over Canada. Many of them survivors, they made the trek in order to spend the packed three-day session learning as much as they could about colorectal cancer and how to administer effective psychosocial support as a member of the CCCAC Cancer Coach Program.
One of the first tasks was to introduce all of the Coaches-in-training. No two cancer cases are alike, and nor were any two Cancer Coaches’ experiences with the disease. While some had lost loved ones, other were survivors themselves, and others still were waiting to reach NED status. The evening ended with Dr. Linda Edgar’s seminar on identifying distressed patients and learning several powerful coping mechanisms.
The training session resumed bright and early on Thursday, with an in-depth anatomy lesson and a review of the pathologies of the colon. This lesson would come in handy later in the day, when the Coaches-in-training attended informative seminars by several key experts in cancer care- Dr. Pierre Major, Medical Oncologist, Dr. Calvin Law, Surgical Oncologist, and Dr. John Kachura, Interventional Radiologist. We covered everything from advancements in colorectal cancer-treating drugs to the basic concept of surgical removal of liver metastases to treatments such as Microspheres and Portal Vein Embolizations.
After a colon-healthy lunch, the group was treated to a panel discussion regarding local initiatives and was inspired by several ideas for reaching out to their communities. Topics presented included the successes of a small but dedicated group demanding better colorectal cancer care in Kingston, methods for community outreach in rural areas, the very succesful C.R.A.N. support group model, and the programs and services offered by cancer support organizations like Willows and Wellspring. The evening was topped off by an inspiring presentation by Dick Feldon, a certified Chi Walking instructor. What an enjoyable, easy-to-learn form of potentially life-prolonging exercise!
The training session continued on Friday with a short presentation on complementary therapies- that is, the various things one can do or take in order to ease the discomfort of treatment or improve quality of life. Did you know that yoga, massage, meditation and reiki therapy can all improve a patient’s quality of life? Of course, the CCAC’s Cancer Coaches will always urge you to discuss any new treatment or exercise with your physician. (Click here to learn more about these therapies.)
No training conference would be complete without a presentation on the year’s clinical research, administered by the CCAC’s Educational/Clinical Specialist. The Coaches received information on the latest developments in colorectal cancer research, in the areas of drugs therapies, surgical procedures, interventional radiology, screening, psychosocial support, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
By the time the training session wrapped up, our Cancer Coaches were handling mock inquiries with confidence and care. When you contact a Cancer Coach, you are offered an understanding ear and an ally as you navigate the healthcare system.
After the cut, get to know the faces of the CCAC’s Cancer Coach Program- and don’t be afraid to get in touch with one by calling 1-877-50-COLON.
“Our findings suggest that some bacterial signatures are more frequently detected in subjects with polyps, early lesions that can develop into cancer, while other bacterial signatures are less frequently observed in such individuals” says Tyler Culpepper, a researcher on the study.
“The results of this work suggest the feasibility of developing non-invasive screening tests based on detecting distortions in microbiota composition and a potential for the development of diet-based prevention regimen aimed at improving gut microbiota composition and reducing colorectal cancer risk.”
Click here to read the original article.
“When it comes to the treatment of your case, be a player, not the puck.”
In other words, become an active member of your cancer care team. When fighting a disease as aggressive as colorectal cancer, the additional distress of navigating the healthcare system and being passed from doctor to doctor can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing. Become a player. Educate yourself so that you can interact with the many brilliant physicians and nurses you’ll meet in the ‘rink’.
The CCAC takes the stance that a well-informed patient is a well-coping patient, and we take pride in directing you to the vital psychosocial assistance and technical background information you may need when facing a diagnosis or when embarking on a new treatment journey.
Just a few ideas:
- Know the language. The CCAC operates a Glossary of Terms that you may find useful, especially when reading medical journal articles or news posted on our site.
- Consult the Physician Questions section of the CCAC site- you’ll find that it’s a valuable resource from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. Arrive at your oncology appointment armed with a list of queries and topics to discuss- questions like how your sexual relations may be affected by a certain treatment, or even whether the doctor would be willing to assist you in seeking a second opinion. No question is to small.
- Reach out to a Cancer Coach. In addition to providing emotional support and being knowledgeable about methods for coping with distress, a CCAC Cancer Coach can direct you to the information you need if you’re overwhelmed by technical terms or the abundance of research on the subject. Many of our Cancer Coaches are themselves survivors of colorectal cancer.
Deep in the heart of NHL playoff season, we were thrilled to hear these words of wisdom from one of our Cancer Coaches! Not only because hockey is our national pastime (and great source of exercise!), but because the analogy captures the concept of teamwork vital to cancer patient care. In your journey with colorectal cancer, your expertise (and faith) in yourself is every bit as important as the input from your surgical oncologist, medical oncologist, interventional radiologist or nurse navigator.
Join the team!
In a study published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, researchers found that cognitive impairment (and memory loss randing from minor to acute) was one of the most frequently reported post-treatment side effects in breast cancer survivors. This collection of symptoms, referred to colloquially as ‘chemobrain’, is not unique to breast cancer patients- and only recently has it been taken seriously by the medical community as a whole.
Click here to read the original article.
A Mayo Clinic physician research team has found that older women with diabetes face a more than doubled risk for some types of colorectal cancer. Their findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association, which ran from May 1st to 5th in New Orleans, LA.
Researchers examined data from 37,695 participants of the Iowa Women’s Health http://www.ourhealthissues.com/product-category/womens-health/ Study, which enrolled women ages 55 to 69 in 1986. Of the participants, 2,361 reported a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and 1,200 developed colorectal cancer. The researchers then worked with regional labs to crosscheck tumour tissue samples with the participants’ cancer pathways and risk factors.
The causal link between diabetes and colorectal cancer is not yet fully understood. Since both diabetes and colorectal cancer are both extremely common in the United States, “making links between these disorders has substantial public health implications,” according to Dr. Paul Limburg, Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.
Click here to read the full article.
Researchers may be on the path to developing a simple urine test to diagnose colorectal cancer, according to research published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research. Researchers hope that such a test could not only be used for detection, but also to track the progress of various treatments- and there is some evidence that our understanding of urine components’ roles in detecting cancer could some day allow us to test even for the stage/severity of the disease.
The researchers were able to identify unique chemical patterns in urine samples from cancer patients using a relatively new science known at metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of small molecule metabolites, which are the by-products of the functioning of your metabolism. The idea is that your unique metabolic profile may be altered when your body is fighting cancer.
Of course, this exciting development is still in its infancy, and American Cancer Society spokesman Michael H. Melner, PhD, reiterates that it would still be many years before such a test could be developed fully. “This is an interesting first step, but this research is very preliminary.” says Melner.
Click here to read the full article.
It’s the CCAC’s edgiest awareness campaign to date, but Advertising Standards Canada (the ASC) has deemed our promotion of Get Your Butt Seen acceptable after receiving complaints about our avant-garde posterior posters.
We have received criticisms and kudos alike for the campaign, launched to coincide with National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Montrealers have likely seen our eye-catching visuals on the rear-ends of buses and on posters within the Metro system, and we will be launching similar campaigns withi public transit systems in the rest of the nation. Is Canada ready to face the butt and talk about a deadly disease?
What do you think? Provocative, or pornographic? Ingenious or indecent?