Will colon cancer surgery affect your ability to eat?

In colon cancer surgery, part or all of the large colon may be removed, and this information invariably makes many people wonder if surgery for this cancer will impair the ability to eat.

Surgry for colon cancer “almost never” interferes, says Whitney Jones, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Louisville, and Founder, Colon Cancer Prevention Project.

Dr. Jones explains, “In fact, unless there are other circumstances — severe concurrent medical problems, coexisting nutritional issues, complications, ongoing battles with spread or metastatic colon cancer — the answer is never.”

Thus, if you suspect you might have this disease, and have been playing through your mind all sorts of scenarios depicting the aftermath that this disease will create, and some of these images are of you getting fed through a feeding tube at dinnertime – you can let go of these images and breathe a sigh of relief that colon cancer will not destroy your ability to enjoy your favorite foods.

Dr. Jones also explains, “Total removal of the colon with or without iliostomy usually causes only diarrhea, since the colon’s primary functions are waste transport, storage and water absorption.

“Some patients who have an ileal resection can have severe diarrhea, malabsorb bile salts and vitamin B12, sometimes with a failure to thrive syndrome.”

If you don’t have colon cancer but have wondered if surgery for this disease impairs the patient’s ability to eat, here’s something you should spend more time thinking about: what you are currently eating, as it relates to possibly increasing the risk of developing cancer of the colon.

A diet high in processed meat may increase the risk.

So may a diet low in fiber.

A diet that is high in fiber promotes faster transport time of food material through the GI tract.

The longer food just sits in the GI tract, the more likely that any toxins in the food will adversely affect colon health, as well as get absorbed into your system.

And there are plenty of toxins in today’s modern food fare, including pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic flavorings, chemical colorings and all sorts of preservatives  —  not to mention trans fats and white sugar.

A high fiber diet will contribute to having a “cleaner gut,” and this can lower the odds of developing colon cancer.

Dr. Jones practice interests include prevention and treatment of colon cancers, pancreatic disease and biliary disease. He has authored numerous scientific articles, reviews and abstracts and presented at a variety of national and international scientific meetings.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.