Four Steps You Can Take To Prevent Colon Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 137,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year and over 50,000 people will die from it. These are scary statistics, but what some may not realize is that colorectal cancers are some of the most preventable types of cancer. Here are four steps you can take to decrease your chances of getting diagnosed with colon cancer. 

Step One: Maintain a Healthy Weight

There is a known relationship that exists between obesity and at least 8 different kinds of cancer, one of which is colon cancer. For men who have a higher than normal BMI (Body Mass Index), they are at an increased risk for colon cancer. While women with a higher than normal BMI are also at risk, the chances aren't as high for them to get colon cancer as men. For adults over the age of 20, a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 is considered obese.

Step Two:

If you haven't begun to smoke cigarettes, don't start. Since smoking can increase your chances of getting colorectal cancers, smokers should stop smoking. Many people assume that the only kind of cancer smoking causes is lung cancer, but according to one study, long-term smoking of cigarettes has also been linked to colorectal cancer.  For those who quit smoking, they are decreasing their chances of getting colon cancer.

Step Three: Eat Plenty of Cancer-Preventing Foods

It's true that certain nutrients and vitamins can help to prevent cancer. In order to prevent colon cancer eat plenty of the following:

  • Healthy fats such as wild salmon, walnuts, and plant-based oils
  • Fruits and vegetables (especially yellow and orange ones)
  • Fiber

Eating less red meat and processed meat is also helpful for colon cancer prevention. Avoiding or limiting alcohol intake can also help decrease your chances of getting colon cancer.

Step Four: Schedule Your Colonoscopy

If you are not obese, you don't smoke, and you eat cancer-preventing foods, you are well on your way to preventing colon cancer. If you are 50 years or older, one more step you can take to prevent cancer is to get a colonoscopy. Colon cancers start off as polyps, and when these get detected and then removed, it can reduce the chances of getting colon cancer. Repeating the colonoscopy every ten years will help to ensure you stay colon cancer free.

For more information, contact Northwest Gastroenterology Associates or a similar organization.


4 August 2016

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