I know you are all on virtual tenterhooks about the state of my colon, so here is the report:
As I was lying on the skinny hospital bed on wheels, slowly rising out of the anesthesia, my brain in blackest smog, the curtain parted and in floated the angel of the Lord. I knew who it was, right off. Imagine Merle Oberon in 1939, in Wuthering Heights. Radiant vestments, tasteful wings, a glowing golden aura bleeding into pumpkin coloured spires -- what you would expect if you were a shepherd guarding your flocks by night, but something of a surprise in a Wyoming recovery room.
The angel saith (in a New Orleans accent): "Your doctor messed up. He ripped you a new anal cavity."
I was stunned, poleaxed from whatever they'd used to knock me cold, so I kept my mouth shut. Besides, I'm kind of shy around angels when the backside of my gown isn't tied shut.
"Lucky for you, though," saith the angel. "God has decided to present you with a new asshole. For Christmas."
The angel reached into the depths between her breasts and pulled out a black, lacquer box with a golden clasp in the shape of a map of Oklahoma. A key appeared, as if from heaven, and she opened the box to show me a royal blue Velveteen lining in which were set five brand new anuses. Anii. Whatever angels call bottoms.
"Which would you chooseth?" saith the angel.
I know what you guys are thinking. You're thinking I was hallucinating from the drugs and the thrill of having a tiny camera and flashlight snaked up my butt. (I have full colour, glossy photos of the dark chamber that we will put on the website, as soon as we can figure out how. You may now start holding your breath.) However, I am fairly certain that the angel was real. She had on flip flops. Hallucinated angels never wear flip flops.
The new anuses were nice, if you like that sort of thing, but the sizes were weird -- frighteningly small or absurdly large. Six different shapes, from the vertical crack with a pencil piercing to an asterisk like Kurt Vonnegut drew in Breakfast of Champions. There was also a cross, like cartoonists draw eyes on people who have been knocked silly. And a curl, like a seashell or galaxy. There was another one but it didn't look like anything but a bull's eye.
"Are these the only choices?" I asked.
"Of course not," saith the angel. "God has created an infinite number of assholes in this world. Just look at Facebook."
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Researchers from Britain and the Netherlands found that the more <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/13/fiber-colorectal-cancer-risk-whole-grains_n_1089082.html" target="_hplink">total dietary fiber and cereal fiber</a> people consumed, the lower their colorectal cancer risk. For example, people who consumed an extra 90 grams of whole grains a day also had a 20 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer, according to the <em>British Medical Journal</em> review. However, that same study didn't show a link between eating fiber from fruits and vegetables and a lowered colorectal cancer risk, meaning there may be something else in whole grains at work, too.
Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that people who <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/04/25/aspirin-bowel-cancer-risk_n_1451209.html" target="_hplink">take aspirin once a day</a> have a 30 percent decreased risk of dying from colorectal cancer, if taken for at least a nine-month period. And, the benefit extended to after a person had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The researchers found that people who had already been diagnosed and who took aspirin had a 23 percent decreased risk of dying from the disease, compared with people who didn't take it at all.
The <em>Daily Mail</em> reported on a study in mice, published in the journal <em>Molecular Nutrition and Food Research</em>, showing that rats exposed to a carcinogen <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2091627/Eating-chocolate-stave-bowel-cancer-say-scientists.html" target="_hplink">developed fewer colon cancer lesions</a> than rats if they consumed high-cocoa diets. "Being exposed to different poisons in the diet like toxins, mutagens and procarcinogens, the intestinal mucus is very susceptible to pathologies," study researcher Maria Angeles Martin Arribas, a researcher at the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition, said <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/f-sf-ccp012412.php" target="_hplink">in a statement</a>. "Foods like cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols, seems to play an important role in protecting against disease." However, it's important to note that this effect was tested only on mice.
Research published in the journal <em>Cancer Prevention Research</em> showed that taking 2 grams of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/10/12/ginger-could-reduce-risk-of-bowel-cancer_n_1006855.html" target="_hplink">ginger root supplement</a> every day might have colon cancer-preventing powers. The researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found that taking ginger root supplements helped to minimize signs of inflammation of the colon, which has been connected to colon cancer.
A study from the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that doctors who conduct colonoscopies while <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/10/31/could-mozart-decrease-your-risk-of-colon-cancer/" target="_hplink">listening to Mozart</a> are more likely to find polyps, which can lead to colon cancer, ABC News reported. The study showed that polyp-detection increased to 36.7 percent from 27.16 percent when the doctors listened to Mozart.
A study in the journal <em>Cancer Causes & Control</em> showed that <a href="http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/alerts/colon_cancer/exercise-colon-cancer_6153-1.html" target="_hplink">people who exercise</a> or play sports five or more times a week can lower their risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared with those who don't exercise regularly (or at all), Johns Hopkins University reported. <blockquote>Why exercise might reduce colon cancer risk isn't well understood. It may be because exercise enhances the immune system or because it reduces levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors, all of which have been associated with colon cancer risk.</blockquote>
A number of studies have linked the <a href="http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/cruciferous/" target="_hplink">consumption of cruciferous vegetables</a> with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, Oregon State University reported, though the effect may depend on a person's genetic risk. In particular, a study published in 2000 in <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11117618?dopt=Abstract" target="_hplink">the <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em></a>, showed that people who ate the most cruciferous veggies in a day (about 58 grams per day, on average) had a lower risk of colon cancer compared with people who ate the fewest cruciferous veggies in a day (about 11 grams per day, on average), Oregon State University reported.
A study in mice showed that compounds called anthocyanins, found in <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39971798/ns/health-cancer/t/black-raspberries-prevent-colorectal-cancer-mice/#.T61SE59Ytvc" target="_hplink">black raspberries</a>, seem to have powers at anti-colorectal cancer powers, MyHealthNewsDaily reported. The berries may help to <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39971798/ns/health-cancer/t/black-raspberries-prevent-colorectal-cancer-mice/#.T61SE59Ytvc" target="_hplink">prevent cancer</a> because of their "high antioxidant activity," study researcher Gary Stoner, of the College of Medicine at Ohio State University, told MyHealthNewsDaily; those antioxidants work to fight against DNA-damaging free radicals in the body.
The Doctors and USA Weekend share tips for reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.