Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States among both men and women, with an estimated 135,430 new diagnosed cases each year. You have a 1 in 20 chance that you will develop it in your lifetime, with an even greater chance for those who have pre-existing risk factors. However, there are ways that you can reduce this risk of developing colon cancer, with being proactive about regularly visiting your doctor at the top of the list. For patients that have already been diagnosed with colon cancer, these methods may help keep symptoms under control, while helping them stay strong throughout their battle with the disease. Check out the helpful tips below to see what you can do to potentially reduce your colon cancer risk, courtesy of your local cancer care experts at Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center.
Get A Colorectal Cancer Screening Regularly
Colon cancer begins as precancerous polyps in the colon that take years to develop, but often show little to no warning signs or symptoms. With a colorectal cancer screening, the polyps can be identified, examined, and removed if necessary, which can help prevent the development of colon cancer, even when patients are not showing any symptoms. Unfortunately, the American Cancer Society reports that 1 in every 3 people that meet the criteria for regular screenings for colon cancer have never been screened.
With the risk of developing colon cancer increasing with age, it is recommended that you schedule annual appointments for a colorectal cancer screening after you hit age 50. For those who have pre-existing conditions that increase their chance of developing colon cancer, it may be recommended to start getting screenings at an earlier age or on a more frequent basis.
Eating Healthy & Staying Active
While there is no evidence that diet will directly reduce the chances of developing colon cancer, a healthy diet has shown to reduce the risk of developing and/or managing the symptoms of other conditions that have been linked to colon cancer, such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. The recommended diet aims to cut out animal fats that can be found in most red and processed meats, while focusing on getting essential vitamins and minerals from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Similar to having a healthier diet, maintaining a consistent exercise routine helps reduces the chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which have both been linked to increase risk of colon cancer. Being overweight is also theorized to be linked to increase the risk of colon cancer.
Contact Us For More Information!
If you would like to know more about colon cancer, what factors increase your risk of developing colon cancer, and what you can do to prevent it, contact us at Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center. You can also learn more about colon cancer by visiting our cancer resources page. If you would like to schedule a screening for colorectal cancer, just reach out to us and we’d be happy to help. We look forward to providing you with the professional cancer care and support you need!