Colon cancer does not receive the same level of attention as other, more visible malignancies, but it should. With 140, 000 people diagnosed each year, it is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. Furthermore, over a million men and women have a family history of the condition.
The good news about colon cancer is that it can be avoided. Seventy- five percent of all incidents can be avoided if certain precautions are taken.
Use these 7 tips to help you reduce your risk. Begin with one or two and work your way up. It' s about your health. Take command.
1. Get Pre- Screened
Getting frequent colon cancer screenings is the single most effective way to protect yourself from the disease. It can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable, and help prevent it by detecting polyps, which are abnormal growths that can develop into cancer.
There are several effective colon cancer screening tests. Some are simple but should be done more frequently. Others are more involved but must be completed less frequently. The test you choose is determined by your particular preferences and medical history.
2. Keep a Healthy Weight
Except for smoking, nothing increases the overall risk of cancer more than obesity. Weight gain and obesity have been linked to at least 11 different malignancies, including colon cancer. A good starting point is to weigh in on what you did when you were 18 years old. Realistically, if you' ve gained weight, the first goal should be to stop gaining weight, which has its own set of health benefits. Then, for an even bigger health gain, gradually aim to shed some pounds.
3. Smoking is not permitted.
It scarcely needs to be said, but quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Smoking is a key cause of at least 14 different cancers, including colon cancer, in addition to increasing the risk of catastrophic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and emphysema. If you smoke, quitting has immediate benefits that begin immediately after your last cigarette. For further information, call 1- 800- QUIT- NOW or go to smoke free. gov. Speaking with a doctor can increase your chances of success.
4. Engage in Physical Activity
Regular exercise is difficult to beat. It reduces the chance of numerous serious diseases, including colon cancer, and gives you a mental boost. Any quantity of physical activity is preferable to none, but it is best to strive for 30 minutes or more of moderate activity every day. Choose activities that you enjoy, such as brisk walking, cycling, dancing, or gardening.
5. Only drink in moderation, if at all.
When it comes to health, alcohol is a funny thing. In moderation, it is heart- healthy, but even at low levels, it can increase the risk of colon and other cancers. So, what does all of this mean? If you drink in moderation (up to one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for males), there' s probably no reason to stop. There' s no need for you to start drinking if you don' t already. Heavy drinkers should try to reduce their intake or quit.
6. Limit your intake of red meat, particularly processed meat.
Consuming too much red meat, such as steak, hamburgers, and pork raises the risk of colon cancer. Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and bologna, increase the risk even more.
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