In the US, colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer — about 140,000 individuals get diagnosed with it every year. The good news is up to 75 percent of all colon cancer cases can be prevented with a few very simple steps! Here are some of the things that you should do to considerably lower your risk of colon cancer:
- Maintain an Ideal Weight
Did you know that being overweight or obese is linked to as many as 11 different forms of cancer, including that of the colon? It’s exactly for this reason why you should strive to get rid of excess pounds and keep them from coming back. It’s not just colon cancer that you may dodge simply by maintaining an ideal weight, but also so many other health problems. Definitely, you should shed off unwanted pounds in a healthy fashion.
- Have Your Regular Dose of Exercise
Exercising on a regular basis is one of the components to a healthy weight reduction. However, doing exercises per se is actually an excellent way to keep colon cancer at bay. Hate the thought of exercising? Forget pumping iron, push-ups and planks — just about any physical activity that increases your heart and respiratory rates is a good form of colon cancer-fighting exercise, such as dancing, playing volleyball, swimming and even cleaning your car!
- Refrain From Smoking Cigarettes
Everyone knows that smoking is a habit that can devastate your health in a number of ways. Aside from emphysema, stroke, heart attack and heart disease, did you know that cigarette smoking is linked to 14 different forms of cancer, and it includes colon cancer? Experts say that you can start reaping the many health benefits of having a cigarette-free life in as early as a year after having your last stick.
- Reduce Your Consumption of Alcohol
In moderation (1 glass per day for women and up to 2 glasses per day for men), alcohol offers cardiovascular benefits, say the experts. However, it comes with a downside: even moderate consumption of alcohol is said to increase your risk of colon cancer and other types of cancer, too. If you’re a heavy alcohol drinker, cut back on your consumption of it. If you are not a drinker, there’s no reason for you to become one.
- Include Fiber-Rich Foods in Your Diet
Numerous studies have shown that a diet that’s rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help considerably stave off colon cancer development. Fiber helps sweep out toxins along the GI tract before they cause health issues, including deadly colon cancer. What’s more, foods that are rich in fiber also offer antioxidants, which are molecules that are known to fight off cancer-causing free radicals.
- Reduce Your Consumption of Red Meat
Aside from including more fiber-rich foods in your diet, it’s also a wonderful idea to limit your intake of red meat. That’s because red meat is a known carcinogen — something that can give way to cancer formation, including most especially that which affects the colon. It’s not just red meat that you should consume in limited amounts if you want to dodge colon cancer, but also processed meat products that are laden with carcinogenic chemicals.
- Get Screened for Colon Cancer
Last but not the least, get screened for colon cancer — it’s one of the most important steps you need to take if you want to considerably lower your colon cancer risk. Through regular screening, a doctor may catch anything abnormal that can lead to colon cancer, and have it removed before it can cause a nightmare. According to the American Cancer Society, the ideal age for most people to start getting a colon cancer screening is 50.