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Gas Causes Cancer?

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hello all!

Well, not exactly causes .... but I'm wondering if my life-long abundance of gas could be a symptom of some gastointestinal problem that made me more susceptible to colon cancer.

I had heard that people with Chron's disease or Colitis are more likely to develop gastointestinal cancer. In fact, before I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, the Doctor was doing the sigmoidoscopy because she thought that I had Colitis. Besides the cancer though, I was told of no other findings from the colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy.

Anyone out there knowledgeable on this subject? My boyfriend says I am the gassiest person he has ever met!!! (Yes, and I am willingly sharing this information in a public forum, egad!) I am a 6 ft tall woman, of normal weight and fairly normal diet. I do notice less gas when I avoid dairy. I probably don't eat enough vegetables, but usually get plenty of fiber.

I'll probably be asking the doctors this question the next time that I see them. I guess I just always took it for granted that I was gassy, but it has occured to me that this could be a sign of something wrong.

Possibly a silly post...but I no longer can assume that everything is fine with my body....so I need to ask questions!


rthornton's picture
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

When I finally decided to get a colonoscopy, it was because of unusual symptoms such as chronic diahhrea (several times a day for about a month) and that was accompanied by a lot of gas. I have heard that cancer tumors create gas in the colon, but I don't know for sure.

But a life-long abundance of gas, that is different. My problem was unusual, which is why I went to a doctor. Anyway, your question is certainly not silly! We have to be hyper-aware of symptoms.


markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Yes, I too heard that tumors can cause gas...which seems really bizarre to me! But yes mine has been pretty much life long ... LOL

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markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Oh...you hit the nail on the head. My life long gassiness definitely contiributed to my ignoring my symptoms. Although my doctor dismissing the blood as hemmrhoids really was the big error. And man you have such a good point about MRIs...like a bad knee is even life-threatening. I really would like to get more involved in advcocating for better screening for younger people.

I don't think I used to be lactose-intolerant either. I'm drinking soy milk now exclusively...haven't quite aquired a taste for soy ice cream...kinda on the blechy side. But it seems like so many foods can give me problems. It might be a psychological thing as well I suppose... possibly eating to quickly and stress causing indigestion. But regardless I wonder if this intestinal distress is a contirbuting factor and if it is something I should pay attention to to prevent recurrence.


Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2005

My 3 babies were ALL incredibly gassy until I cut-out milk products while breastfeeding. It made a HUGE difference. They have grown out of it now, but many people have problems breaking down proteins in milk. It is not a lactose intolerance problem but the actual breaking down of proteins. Thought I would pass this alon since you mentioned having more gas when eating dairy.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Now I will get on my soapbox. Gas is usually a natural thing that happens within the body, but constant kinds of it are definitely a sign that your innards don't like something in your diet. It might not be all dairy products, it could just be the steriod, antiboitic injected pastuerized products most of us consume. If you have to have dairy, try just natural/organic products.

Your doctors may be able to help you, but that really is not what they are trained for. They are trained in how medicines impact the body, not about how diet and nutrition impact the body. A nutrionist might be a better place to go. Or of course you could just pop a little purple pill to minimize the upset tummy while adding more damage then gain (all medicines have side effects).

Bottom line, what we put in our mouths effect our bowels and we have all been "bitten" by it. If you don't change what you put in your mouth, then don't expect a change from your bowels.

It's not the gas, it is what is causing the gas in the first place that possibly causes cancer. Our cancer is so preventable but mostly by diet, not by pills, surgery or chemo. Keep your body happy and it will serve you just fine.

Lisa P.

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Oh man you mean I have to holisitcally take care of myself...there is no magic pill?!! Rats...lol

I am though trying to eat organic and have switched to soymilk...which I have been told may be good for me if I go into menopause early becuase of chemo and radiation.

I still wonder a little though if I could have some sort of digestive disorder that it unpreventable by diet.


MJay's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

I find this very interesting. While I was seeing the GI dr for my bum issues I brought up the fact that I was so gassy. I referred to it as having "Grandpa Gas" because it was far worse than the "Dad Gas". It was totally embarrassing and this comes from a family that thinks "Gas Noises" are funny. The dr didn't pay it any attention. Upon dx of cancer I learn that huge gas is a sign of a tumor.

If I knew then what I know now......


markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thank you all for your comments on this...not making me feel silly for bringing it up!

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2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Maria,

Through researching colon cancer healing with diet for the past 4 years I have learned a few things about what you are talking about.

Extreme gassiness is a symptom of a few things--it could be that you have candida (overgrowth of yeast due to too much sugar in the diet) and not enough GOOD bacteria in the gut. Taking probiotics helps to balance the good bacteria to take care of the bad. For candida you would need to do a cleanse and really go on restricted diet. I take probiotics every day as well as DIGESTIVE ENZYMES after meals. I most likely do not make enough or the proper enzymes in my gut. Also I was a sugar addict for the first 21 years of my life. And any time you go on antibiotics you throw your gut flora off and unless you treat yourself with probiotics you most likely will not balance out on your own. Probiotics being acidopholus (sp?) that you can find in the refrigerated section of your health food store. Yogurt helps but you need to pull out the big guns for this---afterall we are all dealing with faulty guts--all of us-- otherwise we wouldn't be on this section of the boards.

Colon cancer is 80% dietary related. So diet is a good place to start to try and get your body back in balance.

I use a capsule with 5 billion whatever they're called.

In my case you don't want to be around me if I eat meat. I was taken off of dairy 23 years ago--lactose intolerant--should have been a tip off that I had a universal lack of digestive enzymes but I had no idea about this stuff back then. When a tumor is found in the gut you learn real fast!!

Anyway I hope this helps.

Get some probiotics from the health food store and some digestive enzymes (I use DigestMore by ReNew Life)and see what happens.

peace, emily

ramona41's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Jul 2004

I dont know if its a sign of cancer or what..but afterrrrr I had my surgery and all my treatments..NOW I have the Worsttttttt gassss..am so glad I work outside a lot with kids..and I think my coworkers all think I am going outside because of my hot flashes..but really its so I dont gassss them out.. I think when i eat vegetables and try to eat healthier my gas gets worse.. I know crazy but I think its true..I have the worse gas now than ever and since my tumor was low in my rectum.. seems I have lost the ability to ahem hold it in if you know what i mean.. thinks I got gassier after cancer..

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Some of the side effects of chemo is GAS! I had it so bady - my 1st onc. said that I must be gulping air!! Huh?? So now I have a NEW Onc. and it is confirmed that some chemo treatments creates GAS.....it is normal! Sometimes (unfortunately) it also creates uncontrollable diahrrea when it just comes out at will. My 1st Onc. also told me that was a "social problem". YES, I have a new oncologist!


taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Geez Ramona,
I didn't have chemo, but I definitely noticed a whole new gassy world after the low tumor was removed! My whole family jokes about it. I am so happy to have barely avoided a colostomy that I am thrilled that I can.....um...pass gas ;)

HisJoy's picture
Posts: 115
Joined: Feb 2005

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can cause lots of gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation. I have read that those with IBS have an increased risk of developeing colorectal cancer, so there very well may be a link.

My IBS was noticeably better when I adjusted my diet to avoid white sugar and flour and other high-glycemic foods. I also added daily exercise and lost 50 pounds, so I was healthier, in general. Now, I eat whole grains, fruits and veggies, nuts and legumes and a little skim milk or low-carb yogurt daily, plus try to eat some grilled chicken or fish. (onc says I need protein during chemo)

ALSO - stay away from sugar alcohols! They are TERRIBLE at causing gas! (spoken from experience!)

Thanks for sharing!

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