Inexplicable changes in bowel movements, often accompanied by blood in feces and tenderness in the abdomen.


What is Colon Cancer?

From Modern Western Medicine

The second most common form of cancer, colorectal cancer, is responsible for about 20% of all cancer-related death in the United States annually. These types of tumors found in the colon (also referred to as the large intestine) include carcinoid tumors (slow-growing and usually symptomless) and lymphomas. Colon cancer is far more prevalent in the Western world, where animal foods, such as red meat, dairy products, and eggs are consumed in high quantities; the disease has a much lower incidence in countries that subsist on a diet rich in grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat animal products, such as fish. Studies have shown that a diet rich in meat and fat and low in fiber has a high association with colon cancer, and the National Academy of Science has stated unequivocally that animal fats have “causal” relation to the disease.

In most cases, treatment includes the surgical removal of part of the colon, including much of the tissue surrounding the tumors. Approaches other than surgery, such as drugs or radiation, are not considered curative.


From Traditional Medicine

The cause of colon cancer, according to numerous traditional healing systems, is the overconsumption of high-fat foods, especially red meat; a lack of dietary fiber, whole grain, vegetables, and fruits, all of which are rich in anticancer nutrients, such as antioxidants and colon phytoestrogens; estrogens produced by anaerobic bacteria, which flourish in the colon on low-fiber diets; chronic constipation; stress; and, very often, unresolved emotional issues, especially grief. According to Chinese medicine, the colon (large intestine) and lungs are the organs within which the body holds its sadness or grief. Long-standing grief weakens the immune system and, specifically, the large intestine. When the other disease-causing conditions are present, grief encourages the onset of malignancy.



General Recommendations

  • See also the sections on Breast Cancer and Cancer.
  • Increase fiber. Animal studies show that an increase in dietary fiber reduces the size and number of cancer polyps in the intestinal tract.
  • Eat pungent foods. According to traditional Chinese medicine, pungent tastes strengthen the large intestine and lungs.
  • Increase whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  • See Part IV for methods of strengthening the large intestine function.


Foods to Eat

  • Eat whole grains, especially brown rice. According to traditional Chinese medicine, brown rice is the herb for  the large intestine.
  • Consume a wide variety of leafy greens, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, watercress, cauliflower, and broccoli. Scientific studies have shown that these vegetables have powerful anticancer properties; (See?) the section on Nutrition in Part III.
  • Turnips
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Cabbage (cooling)
  • Radishes, including daikon (cooling)
  • White peppercorns
  • Seaweeds   
  • Flaxseed
  • Beta-carotene-rich foods, such as carrots, winter squash, pumpkin, broccoli, kale, turnip, mustard greens, watercress, and microalgae, such as blue-green algae.
  • Eat high-fiber foods, such as all whole grains, fresh vegetables, and beans; bran of grains, and pulp of fruits.


Foods to Avoid

  • Foods rich in fat
  • Refined foods, especially those devoid of fiber and sugar
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Spicy foods



  • Meditate to experience and release the sadness and grief that may be related to the onset and encouragement of the disease. (See Part III for meditation routines related to the emotions.)
  • Use positive imaging exercises, stress reduction, and relaxation response to deal effectively with stress, which can weaken the immune response and support the illness.
  • Yoga and stretching exercise promote the release of tension and toxins that are trapped in the pelvis and intestinal tract. Gentle yoga routines can done daily, but should be practiced anywhere from three to five times per week.