Utah radio personality, Doug Wright, recently underwent a routine colonoscopy that likely saved his life. His experience brings to mind another radio personality named Doug that died from colorectal cancer, Doug Miller.
Doug Miller neglected to have a colonoscopy when recommended – doctors recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years after age 50 – ultimately leading to his death in 2006, when his cancer was discovered too late. Miller’s daughter, Karen Coleman, now proactively encourages adults over 50 to receive this important cancer screening procedure.
Last week, Doug Wright’s doctors found and removed a large, possibly cancerous polyp. After recovering from the procedure, Wright encouraged others to get screened on KSL Newsradio’s Doug Wright Show.
A colonoscopy is an internal examination of the entire length of the colon by inserting a tiny camera attached to a flexible tube through the anus. You are sedated during the procedure, which searches for any abnormalities such as polyps – an abnormal growth of tissue on the mucous membranes of the colon.
Colorectal cancer often begins as a polyp. These tumors frequently produce no physical symptoms until the polyps reach a very large size, making early detection through routine screenings essential.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer Society reports that approximately 740 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year in Utah.
According to research published in the May 2011 edition of Nutrition and Cancer, what you eat may be able to prevent or reduce colorectal polyps. Researchers conducted two cohort studies of more than 2,800 participants to examine the risk of cancer and the association of certain foods with cancer.
What researchers found was that those who ate the most cooked green vegetables, legumes, dried fruit and brown rice experienced the fewest polyps. Remarkably the study authors observed that those who consumed only one serving of cooked green vegetables daily, experienced a 24 percent reduction in polyps.
Consumption of brown rice once per week was associated with a 40 percent decrease in polyps. Eating dried fruit three times per week decreased the risk of polyps by 26 percent; whereas eating legumes three times per week reduced the risk of polyps 33 percent.
This study supports the frequent consumption of plant-based foods, particularly green vegetables, brown rice, dried fruit and legumes to reduce the risk of colorectal polyps and possibly colorectal cancer.