Change Cancer Fate

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By Karen Whittier

Colorectal cancer or colon cancer affects both men and women and is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable and curable forms of cancer there is. Early detection saves lives. Sadly, information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite 40% of adults in the target age range (50 years or older) have never had appropriate screening tests. The American Cancer Society lists several strategies* for reducing your risk of cancer. Having regular check-ups and cancer-screening tests is one of the suggested ways to take more control of your health.

Regular screenings are recommended for men and women age 50 years or older. That age benchmark may be lower if there’s a family history of colon cancer or you have risk factors. Also the frequency of screenings is dependent on your personal history and/or screening results. Check for colorectal cancer risk factors on the CDC or ACS website (links below).

Early detection saves lives. Screening for colorectal cancer may require more preparation and can be more invasive than say a mammogram, but if found early and treated, there’s a 90% five year survival rate. Be proactive by doing all you can to minimize your chance of developing cancer and add more anti-cancer insurance by having the appropriate check-ups and screening tests.

Another American Cancer Society strategy for lowering your risk for cancer is to get moving with regular physical activity. Yoga can fulfill this requirement. One of the obstacles for maintaining an exercise program is accessibility.  Not only is there a style of yoga available for everyone and every body type, it can be practiced in yoga studios, gyms, homes, schools and offices. Yoga addresses the whole individual imparting benefits for body, mind and spirit. Yoga asanas or postures can be categorized by type.  One type that’s particularly good for the digestive tract is Twists. The benefits from twists include:

1. Toning and stimulating the intestines which aids in elimination; and
2. Its “squeeze and soak” action wringing out toxins and then flooding the abdominal organs with blood as the twist is released.
There are a variety of twists, categorized into three different types:  reclining, standing, and seated.  The standing and seated asanas are more active in terms of their effect on the digestive tract.  If you’re newer to doing twists begin with standing twists or reclining twists (reclining twists work more passively and are great to relieve spinal tension.)  All twists should be done mindfully; keeping the

spine long and never cranking around with the use of your arms, but rather using the muscles of your core in concert with your breath: lengthening on the inhales, twisting on the exhales.

*Take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk with these guidelines from the American Cancer Society:

1. Stay away from tobacco
2. Stay at a healthy weight
3. Get moving with regular physical activity
4. Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables
5. Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all)
6. Protect your skin
7. Know yourself, your family history, and your risks
8. Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.

Health, Wellness & CURES!!
Karen Whittier

Karen Whittier, Chief Activist and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), combined her passion for health & wellness via yoga and her commitment to make a difference by creating Embrace Activism, the online source for yoga products with a CAUSE.  Embrace Activism yoga products transforms your practice into purpose-driven yoga. For more information, visit www.EmbraceActivism.com.

LINKS:

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/risk_factors.htm
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ColonandRectumCancer/OverviewGuide/colorectal-cancer-overview-what-causes

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