Colon cancer does not get much attention from the public. However, according to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States.
But despite this alarming fact, colon cancer is one of the easiest formsof cancer to avoid. By being mindful of the following tips outlined by gastroenterologists Sayreville NJ, you can substantially reduce the risk of getting this cancer by as much as 75 percent.
Schedule regular screening
If you must follow just one of the tips listed here, it’s to get yourself screened for colon cancer. Should your doctor detect colon cancer at the early stage, you can be treated and bounce back from the disease.
There are several options for colon cancer screening, the choice of which will depend on your personal preferences. For example, if you want a test that is quick and easy, you can opt for a yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test.
A colonoscopy is conducted every 10 years using a special camera that examines the inside of the colon. A flexible sigmoidoscopy, on the other hand, is conducted every five years. The test utilizes a flexible tube to examine the sigmoid or lower part of the colon.
Shed the extra weight
Carrying excess weight can make you vulnerable to different types of cancer, including colon cancer. If you have put on several pounds over the course of the years, you can start by losing a few pounds and work your way to getting back to your weight when you were 18 years old.
Smoking has long been associated with a long list of fatal diseases, including different forms of cancer. Quitting smoking can substantially reduce your risk for cancer, including colon cancer.
Ideally, you should exercise for half an hour each day. There are plenty of choices you can choose from, including running and weight training. However, practically any form of moderate physical activity will do, like walking and gardening.
Limit your consumption of alcohol
If you are a heavy drinker, consider lowering your intake of alcoholic beverages. Moderate drinking would be one drink per day for women and two for men.
Consider banishing red and processed meats from your diet
Excessive intake of red meat and processed meats increase your risk of contracting colon cancer. If you cannot totally eliminate these from your diet, limit your intake to three servings per week.
Increase your intake of calcium, folate and vitamin D
Studies suggest that calcium, folate and vitamin D can aid in protecting against colon cancer. The recommended dosage for calcium is 1,000 mg per day; for vitamin D, 1,000 IU.