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Lower your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Through Lifestyle Changes

March 11, 2024

Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon and rectum – affects men and women equally and is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Sadly, more than half of all colorectal cancer deaths might have been prevented by early detection through colon cancer screening. Getting screened is your best medical defense against colorectal cancer because it is one of the few cancers detectable in a precancerous state.

You can help reduce your risks associated with colorectal cancer by implementing lifestyle and dietary changes. Here are five recommended tips:

  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure a high fiber intake, which is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Stay physically active; regular exercise has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Staying active even 75 minutes a week or more is shown to help lower overall risks.
  • Limit red and processed meat consumption, as these have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, as obesity is a known risk factor for various cancers, including colorectal cancer.
  • Get regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, especially if you have a family history or other risk factors, as early detection can improve outcomes.

Screening Guidelines

Colorectal cancer is 90% beatable when treated in the early stages.

Current screening guidelines recommend men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer be screened starting at age 45. If you have a close relative with colorectal cancer or an inflammatory bowel disease, you may need to start screening at a younger age and be screened more often.

At Kelsey-Seybold, we offer a variety of colorectal cancer screening techniques depending on the individual patient’s situation. Colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” as the screening technique most preferred by the American College of Gastroenterology.

Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Younger Demographic

Incidents of young-onset colorectal cancer are on the rise. In people under 55 years old is on the rise, increasing 1-2% every year. According to the American Cancer Society’s latest data it also shows it is the leading cause of cancer death among men under the age of 50 and second leading cause for women under the age of 50.

The key to beating this disease is through early medical detection. Here’s why: Most colon cancers begin as a benign polyp. If the polyp is detected and removed soon enough, most colon cancers can be prevented from forming – hence the importance of recommended preventive screenings.

Don’t wait for noticeable symptoms like blood in your stool, unusual bowel changes, persistent stomach pains or unexplained weight loss, before getting screened.

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