Colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer when it’s found early. Follow these 5 simple steps to help reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Screening is the most important, and most effective step you can take to prevent colon cancer. Procedures such as colonoscopies are easy methods to monitor and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Getting screened saves lives.
Know Your Family History
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you are immediately at an increased risk for the disease. Family history may have an effect on the age of screening, therefore knowing your history may increase your chance for early prevention.
Avoid Cigarettes & Alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol have both been known to increase cancer risk. Cigarette smoking over a long period of time, has been associated specifically with increased risk of colon cancer. Alcohol is best consumed in moderation. Nondrinkers and occasional drinkers are at a lower risk for colon cancer than those who regularly drink 3.5 drinks a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet plays a large role in your overall health. Foods that reduce the damage to your body that can lead to cancer are plant-based and high in fiber and nutrients. Vegetables, fruits and other plant foods help us maintain a healthy weight because many are low in calories. Reducing your intake of red and processed meats will also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Studies have shown that an increase in exercise in either intensity, duration or frequency has reduced the risk of developing colon cancer in adults by 30 to 40 percent. Maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of developing polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. Spend 30 to 60 minutes of your day exercising.
For more information on colon cancer screening and prevention, or to schedule an appointment with Regional Gi, please contact us today.