While colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in the U.S., there are many preventative actions that one can take to potentially reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer. These preventative actions are often recommended for those who show early warning signs or have pre-existing conditions that increase risk of developing colon cancer, as catching the disease in its early stages improves the chances of the patient being cured or increasing the effectiveness of treatment. Even patients who have already been diagnosed can use some of these risk-reducing methods to manage their own symptoms and aid them in their battle against the disease.
Schedule Regular Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Almost all cases of colorectal cancer begin as precancerous polyps that form in the colon which can be identified through a colorectal cancer screening. If any precancerous polyps are discovered during the screening, they can be removed to prevent the development of colon cancer. Getting a colorectal cancer screening on a regular basis will also increase the chances that any developing cancer will be caught in its early stages and allow patients to seek out treatment sooner, possibly improving the effectiveness of treatment or offering a higher chance of being cured.
Since the chance of colon cancer increases with age, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 50 schedule an annual colon cancer screenings. For patients that have pre-existing risk factors that increase their chances of developing colon cancer, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor to determine if you should schedule more frequent screenings, or if you should start getting screenings at an earlier age.
Stay Physically Active
While getting a healthy amount of exercise has not been proven to directly prevent colon cancer, it can potentially lower your risk for developing it since it can lower your risk for other conditions that are theorized to be linked to colon cancer, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Even if you have already been diagnosed with colon cancer or the other linked diseases, regular exercise will help manage symptoms, keep your body strong, and give you the energy you need to get through treatment.
Adopt A Healthier Diet
There are many studies that are being conducted to determine if diet has a direct impact on reducing colon cancer risk.. any medical experts recommend that those who are at risk or have been diagnosed with colon cancer to adopt a healthier diet that is low in animal fats and has a higher concentration on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While this diet may not reduce the chance of color cancer directly, it can lead to lower risk of developing other diseases including diabetes and coronary artery disease, which have been linked to colon cancer.
Contact Your Local Cancer Center To Learn More
If you have any questions about how you can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer or how you can schedule a screening, contact us at Southeast Radiation Oncology Center today and speak to a member of our experienced and knowledgeable staff. You can also learn more about colon cancer by visiting our cancer resources page. We look forward to hearing from you soon!