If you are concerned about your risk of developing colon cancer, you’re not alone. Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer among men and women in the United States and has been on the rise for several decades. There are many risk factors for developing Colon cancer, but there are also ways you can take to help lower your risk.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to lower your risk of getting this type of cancer. In this article, we’ll look at the five most useful ways to avoid or lower the risk of this type of cancer.
Stay at a healthy weight
If you’re overweight or obese, you have a higher chance of colon cancer. Watching and keeping track of your weight is vital to avoid this risk. After all, obesity leads to a number of other diseases or health complications, and there are countless reasons to maintain an ideal weight.
The most accurate way to determine your healthy weight is by weighing yourself regularly (at least once a month) and keeping track of any changes. If your weight remains stable, you can be confident that you are in the right weight range for your body type and build and your risk of colon cancer is low. On the other hand, fluctuating weight is a warning sign to start figuring out what triggers these changes and make appropriate adjustments to your diet and exercise regimen.
Increase physical activity
Physical activity promotes regular bowel movements and prevents the build-up of waste products in the colon, leading to a reduction in the risk of colon cancer. Physical activity may also have an impact on certain blood proteins that are related to colon cancer development.
You don’t need to start going to the gym or running marathons to get the most benefits. Brisk walking, swimming, yoga, or stretching at home is absolutely sufficient. What’s important is regularity, not intensity. The more active you are, the lower your risk may be.
Watch what you eat
Not only obesity but the food you eat can increase your risk of colon cancer. If you’re at high risk of colon cancer or want to prevent this problem because someone in your family already had it, watching what you eat is key.
Be sure to eat foods that are high in fiber, such as nuts, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. This helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass. It may also help prevent an enlarged colon that can lead to colon cancer.
Foods you should avoid
Fried or fatty foods – Frying food can increase its calorie content, leading to weight gain and obesity. Fats can also promote inflammation, which may contribute to the development of colon cancer. In addition, excess carbohydrate intake may also be linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Red meat – Red meat may increase the risk of colon cancer due to its high protein content, which can be converted into toxic by-products in the body. Simply put, the more red meat you eat, the higher your risk may be.
Peanuts and peanut butter – Although legumes are rich in fiber, peanuts are an exception. Peanuts are a legume that has been linked with a higher risk of colon cancer or the spread of an already existing cancer.
Stay away from smoking or smoky environment
It’s no secret that bad habits such as smoking can affect both your quality of life and your long-term health. Smoking, in particular, increases the production of carcinogenic substances in the body, damages your DNA, and lowers the ability of your immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. It also causes damage to cells in the large intestine and rectum, making them more likely to become cancerous, thus increasing your risk of colon cancer.
Even if you are a non-smoker, inhaling the smoke is dangerous for you. The more you smoke or stay in a smoky environment, the higher your risk is for colon cancer.
Since colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States alone, it’s important to get screened for it. A colonoscopy is one of the best ways to detect colon cancer early when it’s treatable. This type of screening can detect and remove precancerous growths, called polyps, while they are small and easily treated.
The cost of a colonoscopy can vary significantly depending on the clinic or doctor’s office you choose to undergo the procedure. Generally, a colonoscopy can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000 or higher. Many people who need to be screened for colon cancer decide to get treatment abroad. It often costs less, including flights and accommodation, and they don’t have to wait a long time for the screening.
With so many forces working against us, it can be challenging to prevent illness or disease. However, you can significantly lower your risk of colon cancer by taking proactive steps to improve your diet, increasing your physical activity levels, avoiding certain types of foods or addictive substances, or getting screened. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.