Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is a malignant tumor in the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine).
An increasing incidence in younger age groups
Colorectal cancers are considered a disease of aging, but more dramatic increases have been seen in the rate of colorectal cancer among younger adults in recent years. According to a study from American Cancer Society, an increasing number of cases of colon and rectal cancers has been diagnosed in Americans under 50 this year and younger people have a double risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Unhealthy lifestyles are risk factors
Unhealthy lifestyles are associated with the increasing incidence of colorectal cancer, and this includes eating diets high in fat, cholesterol and sugar, being sedentary all day in front of computers, and lack of exercise.
Because of the poor awareness of the early screening of colorectal cancer, patients are more likely to be diagnosed later in the course of their disease. At present, chemotherapy is one of the important treatments for colorectal cancer.
Chemotherapy drugs are currently main treatments
Oxaliplatin, Irinotecan and Fluorouracil are the three commonly used chemotherapy drugs in clinical practices. Though significant inhibitory effects on colorectal cancer cells, these chemotherapy drugs have certain toxic side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and the reduction in the number of white blood cell and platelets.
Rare ginsenosides as a promising adjuvant therapy
Combination therapy is defined as disease treatment with two or more drugs to achieve efficacy with lower doses or lower toxicity drugs. Ginsenosides are natural compounds extracted from Araliaceae plants like Panax ginseng. Scientists found that rare ginsenosides, the metabolite of prototype ginsenosides, exhibit strong anticancer efficacies, and meanwhile relieve various short-term and long-term side effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Scientists found in the previous study that rare ginsenosides Rh3 can inhibit colorectal cancer cell proliferation and induce cancer cell apoptosis, and reduce the side effects caused by chemotherapy drugs.
Scientists have tested the effects of various rare ginsenosides on colorectal cancer and the results of the half inhibitory concentration (IC50), referring to the concentration of rare ginsenosides required to inhibit the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells by 50% showed that ginsenosides have a significant anticancer effect on colorectal cells, especially the highly active rare ginsenosides like Rg5, Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD which are about 4 times more active than Rh2 and Rg3 in fighting colorectal cells.
Young people should develop a regular and healthy lifestyle to prevent colorectal cancer. For colorectal patients who are receiving chemotherapy treatment and suffering from painful side effects, it is advisable to take some rare ginsenosides products.