Certain people may be at a greater risk for developing colon cancer, including those older than 50 years old, those who have had other types of cancer, a family history of colon cancer, those who have had colon polyps, those who have had ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, and those who have genetic conditions that might make them more prone to have colon cancer.
But there are also factors you can control. A low-fiber, high-fat diet, an inactive lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, smoking and alcohol all can increase a person's risk for colon cancer. Here are some ways you can reduce your risk of colon cancer.
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Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer
You can cut your risk of developing colon cancer with certain lifestyle changes. These changes include:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Staying at a healthy weight. Several studies have shown a link between extra body weight and an increased risk of colorectal cancer, as well as some other cancers.
Get Regular Physical Activity
Even if you start exercising later in life, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. Even moderate activity, such as fast walking and climbing stairs, can help lower your risk. Intense physical activity, such as running or aerobics, for longer periods of time may provide even more protection.
Eat Plenty of High-Fiber Foods
Eating a diet that’s high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help lower your colorectal cancer risk. Experts don’t know if certain vegetables might be better than others in lowering risk. So the best advice is to eat a variety of them.
Drinking in moderation (if at all), may help lower your risk of colon cancer. Heavy alcohol use can raise the risk of colorectal cancer.
Reduce Red Meat and Avoid Processed Meats
Limit red and processed meats including beef, sausage and bacon. Instead eat lean meats and fish. Not smoking or abusing alcohol. Both smoking and heavy alcohol use can raise the risk of colorectal cancer. Not smoking, and drinking in moderation (if at all), may help lower your risk.
Get Your Calcium
Getting enough calcium in your diet. Some studies have found that increasing calcium intake may lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Calcium is an important mineral in the body for many reasons. But some research has found that higher calcium intake may raise the risk of prostate cancer in men. Talk with your provider before taking calcium supplements.
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