Colon cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women in the United States.
As cases continue to rise in younger people, the American Cancer Society has lowered the age to 45 for a colonoscopy. Earlier screenings can help doctors to diagnose more cases and possibly prevent colon cancer in many patients.
But…What is a colon?
In the human body, the colon is also known as the large bowel or large intestine, and is part of the digestive system. This system holds a group of organs that allow us to eat and to convert our food to fuel for our bodies. A colon that is not functioning properly may cause issues such as abdominal pain, bloody stools, diarrhea, constipation, or even fever.
While a colonoscopy is essential for diagnosing colon cancer, it’s also important to take good care of your colon in the process too!
Here are 6 tips for a healthy colon:
- Watch diet and exercise.
Carrying extra weight on your body increases the risk of colon cancer, along with other various types of cancer. Just 30 minutes of exercise a few days a week can make a difference for not only your overall health, but your colon health too. Try walking to get started.
- Eat your veggies and fiber-rich foods.
Choosing healthy foods goes without saying in any list regarding health, but it’s especially true for colon health. Items like veggies and high-fiber foods can help prevent colon cancer, while fried foods and processed meats can help accelerate issues.
- Limit alcohol and nix smoking.
Alcohol consumption should be no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. And if you smoke, quit, as it doesn’t serve the body well in any capacity!
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Drinking the recommended amount of water each day keeps the entire body, including your colon, healthy and functioning properly. Try these ideas for creative ways to drink more water.
- Have regular bowel movements.
Your colon was not designed to hold onto waste, so it’s important to have 1-2 bowel movements each day to keep your colon healthy.
- Get a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is more than a screening tool. It can prevent cancer by discovering precancerous changes, called polyps, and removing them before they develop further into cancer. Our board-certified gastroenterologists are ready to see you in our office to perform this potentially life-saving procedure.
Reminder: The year is almost over, and your deductible will reset in January. If you have a family history of colon cancer, or are experiencing symptoms that may be due to colon cancer, contact us today.
Our team at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC in Troy, Michigan have the knowledge and experience to help you feel your best.