Colon cancer does not get the same attention as some high-profile cancers, but it should. It is the third most common cancer in the United States, for example, with 140,000 people diagnosed each year. And more than a million men and women live with a history of the disease. But there is good news: colon cancer can be prevented. Seventy-five percent of all cases could be prevented by things you can do.
8 ways to prevent colon cancer
Use these eight tips as a guide to reduce your risk. Start with one or two and build from there. It's for your health and you should take control.
1. Examine you
Realizarte regularly tests for the detection of colon cancer is, but the best way, major to protect against the disease.
It may be possible that these tests can detect cancer early, when it may even be more treatable. It can also help prevent this disease by detecting abnormal growths in the colon called polyps that can potentially turn into cancer.
There are a number of effective colon cancer screenings. The following are the recommended ones. If an exam finds anything suspicious, you will usually need a follow-up colonoscopy.
The entire length of the interior of the colon is examined through a small flexible tube with a camera. You will need someone to accompany you on this exam as you will be sedated on the test. If polyps or other suspicious growths are found in this test and exam, they can be removed during the test. Every 10 years is the frequency to do it.
Similar to colonoscopy, only this test uses a small flexible tube that examines the lower part of the colon (the sigmoid). You don't need to be sedated. Frequency: every five years.
This test is a type of CT scan that gives us an accurate three-dimensional image of the inside of the colon. During the test, a small tube is inserted into the rectum to gently inflate the colon with air. It only takes a few minutes to scan. How often: every five years.
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) / Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
It is a test that looks for occult blood in the stool, as this can be a sign of cancer. It is quick and easy to do since it consists of extracting small samples of your stool yourself that you will then send to a laboratory to be analyzed. The frequency of this exam is recommended to be done every year.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Besides smoking, nothing else increases cancer risk than being overweight. There are at least 11 types of cancers that have already been linked to obesity and weight gain, including colon cancer. An ideal goal is to weigh what you weighed when you were 18 years old. If you have gained weight, the first goal is to stop gaining weight; This, by itself, will bring you benefits in your health.
3. Don't smoke if you want to prevent colon cancer
It almost goes without saying, but not smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. In addition to increasing the risk of serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and emphysema, smoking is the leading cause of at least 14 different cancers, including colon cancer. If you smoke, quitting has real benefits, beginning shortly after your last cigarette. Talking to a doctor can double your chances of success.
4. Be physically active
Regular activity reduces the risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, and provides a good mental boost. Any amount of physical activity is better than none, but it's good to aim for around 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day. Choose things that you enjoy, such as brisk walking, biking, dancing, or gardening.
5. Drink only moderately, if you do
Alcohol is a strange thing when it comes to health. It's heart-healthy in moderation, but it can increase your risk of colon and other cancers even at low levels.
So, what does this mean? If you drink moderately (up to one drink a day for women, two a day for men), there is probably no reason to stop. However, if you don't drink, there is no reason for you to start. Heavy drinkers should definitely try to cut it down.
6. Limit red meat, especially processed meat
Eating too much red meat, such as steak, hamburger, and pork, increases the risk of colon cancer. And processed meats, like bacon, hot dogs, and bologna, increase the risk of colon cancer even more. Try to eat no more than three servings each week. Less is even better and nothing is essential.
7. Get enough calcium and vitamin D
There is good evidence that getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help protect against colon cancer. Take 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and approximately 1,000 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D.
Some groups recommend testing for vitamin D deficiency, especially in those most at risk for low levels, such as those living in northern parts, the elderly, the overweight, and those with darker skin.
8. Consider a multivitamin supplement with folic acid
A daily multivitamin is a good nutrition insurance policy that can also help protect against colon cancer. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, a multivitamin contains folate, which has been shown in numerous studies to lower the risk of colon cancer. Avoid mega doses of vitamins. A standard multivitamin is all you need.
Other Important Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
Although colon cancer is highly preventable, there are still a number of important risk factors that people cannot control. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and take steps to reduce it. If you think you are at high risk, talk to a doctor or healthcare professional.
These can increase the risk of colon cancer:
· Old age, especially 60 years or more.
· Family history of colon cancer.
· Inflammatory bowel disease
· Be tall (1.76 meters or taller for women; 1.85 meters or taller for men).
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