Colorectal cancer develops when cells in the colon or rectum divide uncontrollably. Depending on the location of cancerous cells, this disease can be called colon cancer or rectal cancer. The names are grouped because they have many similar characteristics. A change in bowel habits and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer.
Certain habits and lifestyle options can lower your chances of developing colorectal cancer.
Maintaining healthy body weight and eating a healthy diet
People who are overweight and/or obese have a higher chance of developing colorectal cancer. Staying at a healthy, manageable weight reduces your chances of developing colorectal cancer and other types of chronic diseases.
Medical professionals recommend that people should consume a diet containing an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating a large amount of red meat and animal fats can place you at an increased risk of getting colorectal cancer. Studies reported by the American Cancer Society link increased consumption of red meat with higher colorectal cancer risk.
Incorporate plenty of physical and aerobic exercise
You should be physically active to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. All types of physical exercise, including cardio and aerobics, decrease your chances of developing cancer in the colon or rectum. The more time you spend reclined increases your risk of getting colorectal cancer.
Your activity should range from moderate to intense physical workouts. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults perform at least 2 hours of moderate intensity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week to stay active and healthy.
Limit use of tobacco and alcohol
Inhaling or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol puts you at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, among other diseases. You should look to quit smoking if you are trying to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Consumer little to no alcohol.
Take vitamins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
More research needs to be conducted on the topic, but some studies show that taking vitamin supplements can reduce your chances of developing cancer. Daily multi-vitamins, vitamin D supplements, and calcium may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Not all studies support this conclusion, so it is important to talk with your doctor before taking these supplements.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have also been found to lower the risk of getting cancer if taken regularly. NSAIDs include Aleve, ibuprofen, Advil, and a few others. These drugs can have some significant side effects, so check in with your doctor before taking them daily.
Get screened for colorectal cancer
Getting screened for colorectal cancer is one of the best ways to lower your chance of getting cancer. Regular habitual screenings can identify polyps that eventually develop into colorectal cancer. Once identified, these polyps can be treated. Screening can also help identify colorectal cancer early when it is considerably easier to treat.
If your family has a history of colon and/or rectal cancer, it is a good idea to conduct screenings often. Genetic counseling can also provide assistance and information regarding your status and what is colorectal cancer.
These tips reduce the chances of developing colorectal cancer exponentially. BASS Medical Group’s team of experienced doctors can help assist you with your goals of avoiding colorectal cancer. Visit our website for more information or call the Walnut Creek office at (925) 954-6710.