By Gastroenterology Specialists
The first step to prevent colon cancer is understanding what the risk factors are. Knowing that you are at risk will help motivate you to take the necessary steps to prevent it. Even if you are at high risk for colon cancer, there are steps that you can take to decrease your chances of developing it.
Most of the time, we give little thought to the idea that we may be setting ourselves up for colon cancer. In fact, most people don’t think about colon cancer until they either have it or someone they love has it.
Age is one of the biggest factors. While young people can also get colon cancer, people over fifty are at the highest risk. Those who have a family history of cancer, as well as women who have had breast cancer, uterine cancer, or ovary cancer are at high risk. Your diet can put you at risk. If your diet is high in fat and calories, and low in fiber.
Other risk factors include polyps on the wall of the colon or rectum. If you have had either of these conditions, you may develop colon cancer later on. People who have IBD, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or Crohn’s Disease are also at high risk.
As with any other illness or disease, it is ideal to prevent it instead of waiting to do anything until you actually have it.
Prevention is easier than curing a problem. The first step in prevention is to get regular screenings. In many cases, the only sign of colon cancer is polyps that are in the colon. Finding and removing these polyps early helps to prevent late stages of colon cancer.
You may also need to make dietary changes. Lower your intake of fat and calories, as well as your intake of meats and alcohol. You should increase the amount of exercise you do as well. Experts also recommend that you stop smoking.
You should get five servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and folic acid each day. It is important to maintain a healthy weight as well. The use of baby aspirin each day is also recommended.
Increasing your water intake, and making dietary changes will all help to prevent colon cancer. However, you should also get regular screenings to make sure that no polyps have developed. When colon cancer is detected early, it is the most curable form of cancer that there is.
For more infromation about colon cancer and would like to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our physicians, please contact our office at (239) 593-6201 or send an email with the subject “Colon Cancer” to firstname.lastname@example.org.