Colon cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in men younger than 50 – and the second leading cause for women in the same age group, according to newly-released statistics from the American Cancer Society. But here’s the thing: Colon cancer is PREVENTABLE.
Take these steps to heart (especially the first one) to help stop colon cancer in its tracks:
Screening Saves Lives
A colonoscopy (a type of colon cancer screening) can PREVENT colon and colorectal cancer by detecting precancerous polyps. Then your doctor can remove those polyps before they turn into cancer. If you are over 45, have risk factors, or have personal or family history, you need to have a colonoscopy.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to the American Cancer Society, the increase in the risk of developing colorectal cancer (and others) is on the rise due to excess body weight. If you are overweight, that may be considered a risk factor for developing colon cancer.
Add Fiber in Your Diet
Fiber can make a HUGE difference to your to colon (and overall) health. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Incorporate whole grains, beans, and a variety of colorful produce into your meals whenever possible (and be sure to consult your doctor before making dietary changes).
Limit Red Meat and Processed Foods
High consumption of red meat and ultra-processed foods may potentially lead to an increased risk of colon cancer. Choose lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, and plant-based alternatives – and if you do consume red meat, do so in moderation. Try to eat fresh foods whenever possible, instead of those from a package or can.
Physical activity may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing, find activities you enjoy and make them a regular part of your routine for a healthier overall you.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Did you know that alcohol can increase your risk of developing colon cancer? Excessive alcohol intake has been associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.
Water (by itself, without any added sugar or as the “base” of a beverage) is essential for your overall health, and your colon. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain the lining of the intestines and supports regular bowel movements, making it harder for precancerous polyps to grow in a healthy colon.
Know Your Family History and Risk Factors
If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or certain genetic conditions – or other risk factors — discuss it with your doctor to determine what the best prevention measures are for you.
Schedule a Visit with Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C.
The best way to prevent colon cancer is to visit your gastrointestinal doctor to have a colonoscopy, address any symptoms, and discuss a preventative or treatment plan. Call Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C. today to schedule your appointment in Troy, MI. Let’s work together to prevent colon cancer!