Find out how you can reduce your risk of colon cancer.
It’s National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer affects 1 in 20 Americans and is the third leading cause of cancer death, according to the American Cancer Society. Do you know how to reduce your risk of colon cancer? Find out how to adjust your habits to lead a healthier lifestyle that focuses on prevention of colorectal cancer and other chronic illnesses.
1. Get screened often
It’s important to begin getting screened for colorectal cancer when you turn 50. Screening tests can find polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer. If you get screened early and often, doctors can catch and remove polyps before they have a chance to develop into cancer. This can literally save your life. In fact, the Colon Cancer Alliance estimates that 30,000 lives could be saved each year if patients and doctors worked together for a comprehensive screening program including fecal occult blood tests and colon exams.
2. Adjust your diet
As with many types of cancer, diet can have a huge impact on prevention. If you are concerned with your risk of colorectal cancer, limit red meat. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and enjoy whole foods instead of processed foods whenever possible. Ensure that your diet is getting you lots of vitamin D and calcium or talk to your doctor about appropriate supplements.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness
If you are obese, talk to your doctor about healthy ways to lose weight gradually and safely. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight when it comes to lowering cancer risk and reducing the risk of other chronic diseases. Physical fitness is important regardless of your age. Engage in a fitness routine that’s right for your level of health and fitness. Even walking can make a difference.
The Cancer Institute at Oak Hill Hospital provides cutting edge treatment. To learn more about cancer treatment and detection options for you or a loved one, call (352) 596-6632 in Hernando or (352) 628-6441 in Citrus.