Colon cancer can happen to anyone, although it typically affects older adults.
Most cancers begin as small benign polyps, but in time they can become cancerous tumors. The best way to catch colon cancer in its early stages is to have regular screenings starting at about age 50. In addition, you can reduce your risk for colon cancer with these 5 tips.
Go Easy on the Red Meat
We all love a great steak and lean red meats can be a good source of iron, zinc, protein, and vitamin B 12, but eat them sparingly since high amounts of each can increase your risk for colon cancer. Be especially wary of processed and cured meats like ham, bacon, salami, and hot dogs. The chemicals in these meats can lead to inflammation, which may negatively affect your colon.
Move It or Lose It
30 minutes of exercise a day, or as many days as possible, is beneficial on many levels. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which lowers your risk for many medical conditions, but it also reduces insulin resistance and inflammations that can lead to colon cancer.
Moving around helps to stimulate your digestive system and increases the amount of transit time in the colon. Most studies show that a sedentary lifestyle combined with a high fat diet raise your risk for colon cancer.
Become a Plant Lover
We mean the edible kind like veggies such as broccoli, peas, beans, lentils, brussels sprouts, and lettuce, which are all loaded with cancer fighting agents. Fruits like apples, pears, and berries will also keep things moving faster through your digestive tract. In fact, half your dinner plate should be filled with vegetables, and eating a piece of fruit as a snack is the healthiest type you can choose.
Get Familiar with Grains
Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa are known to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Three servings of whole grains a day is recommended. They contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can all help with cancer prevention.
Pass on That Second Drink
This is especially true for the ladies. Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day is a no-no if you want to avoid colon cancer. For men, they should limit alcohol to two drinks per day at the most.
Here is one extra tip: if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, consider stopping for the many benefits it can have on your overall health.
Completing regular colon cancer screenings remains the best way to reduce your risk. Small polyps can be removed before they become cancerous, and there are several screening options available today. Schedule an appointment with your doctor and find out which colon cancer screening option would be best for you.
For further information about colon cancer screenings or surgery, contact Colorectal Surgical Associates, PC today by calling (816) 941-0800!