Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is one of the most common cancers in the United States. One in every 20 Americans will develop colon cancer at some point in their lifetime, but there are things you can do to help lower your risk.
Get screened for colon cancer
Colon screenings, or colonoscopies, are one of the best ways to proactively prevent colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can locate and remove precancerous growths before they turn into cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends testing starting at the age of 50, depending on your medical and family history.
Consume a healthy, balanced diet
A diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables has been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer. Additionally, try to cut down on red meat and processed meats, which can increase your risk.
Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine can sometimes play a role in a lowered risk of colon cancer. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, most days of the week.
Watch your weight
If you are overweight, shedding a few extra pounds will benefit your colon health. The recommendations listed above, like getting regular exercise and consuming a healthy diet, can assist in weight loss and lower your chances of developing colon cancer.
Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake
Smoking and heavy drinking have been linked to the development of not only colon cancer, but other cancers as well. If you are a smoker, talk to your doctor about ways to quit. If you do drink, men should consume no more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and women only one.
In addition to these tips, it’s important to know your family history, as colon cancer can be hereditary. Never ignore any warning signs (such as changes in bowel habits or blood in the stool), and be sure to talk with your doctor about any unusual symptoms you’re experiencing.
For more information about colon cancer, or to talk with a doctor about symptoms you’re having, call Pomona Valley Health Centers today at (888) 686-0773.