10 Tips for Preventing Colorectal Cancer

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By: , – Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation
4/26/2013 6:00 PM   :  6 comments   :  9,928 Views

Research has shown that at least 50% of all cases of colorectal cancer could be prevented by lifestyle, and one recent Harvard study found that risk could be reduced by as much as 70% to 75%! Here are 10 things you can do to minimize your risk for colon cancer: 
  1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Watch portion sizes and balance your food intake with activity to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
     
  2. Be physically active. Walking just 4 hours a week significantly reduces your risk, and being active will also help you achieve tip #1.
     
  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of many cancers not just colon and rectal cancer.
     
  4. Practice moderation when drinking alcohol. For women this means consuming no more than one drink per day, for men no more than two. All of the following equal one drink:
    • 12 oz. can or bottle of beer or wine cooler
    • 5 oz. glass of wine
    • 1½ oz. shot of hard liquor
Since your colon is part of your gastrointestinal tract, it makes sense that your diet would have a powerful impact on colorectal cancer risk. Here are the most important things to consider when eating for cancer prevention:
  1. Eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are the best source of important phytochemicals. Green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are especially helpful as they may slow down or block the expression of cancer genes.
     
  2. Increase your intake of fiber. Whole grains, beans and legumes contain important vitamins and minerals, and are excellent sources of fiber. They help to soften your stools, prevent constipation and keep things moving through your GI tract.
     
  3. Eat less red meat and avoid processed meats.
     
  4. Don’t overcook your meat. It’s important to cook meats enough to prevent food-borne illnesses, but overcooking can cause cancer-causing compounds to form.
     
  5. Replace animal fats with nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Olive and canola oil are great choices. Fish oils containing omega 3 fatty acids offer additional health benefits for your heart, brain and immune system.
     
  6. Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. For the best advice on whether you need extra calcium or Vitamin D, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. 
And here’s the best news! The same lifestyle choices that reduce your risk for colon cancer also lower your risk for other forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. In addition, they enhance the quality of your life by improving your overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
 
Since its inception, the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation (Susie’s Cause) has followed a specific road map for success and firmly established itself as the National Voice for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of Colon Cancer. (Susie’s Cause) will continue to strive to eliminate colon cancer as a life-threatening disease through the development and dissemination of grass roots educational programs and a robust online campaign to touch both medical professionals and the general public worldwide. Please support our efforts to save tens of thousands of lives each year.


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Comments

  • BAMAJAM
    6
    Helpful article, and helpful comments. I already know these tips, however, I did not know overcooking meat can cause cancer causing compounds to form. This is a surprise. . . - 4/29/2013   1:07:28 PM
  • 5
    My sister, Virg died of correctal cancer on Feb. 17, 2013. Last year about this time she had complained about her bowel problems and then I asked if she had gone to the Dr. and told him. She said NO I was upset and told her so and she got mad at me. Finally in July of last year I finally convinced her. She had a colonoscopy and they found polyps. In November she was seriously ill in hospital, In January she was in hospice and they sent her home to die. PLEASE everybody get a test done. PLEASE. - 4/28/2013   5:37:17 AM
  • 4
    Thank you! - 4/26/2013   11:41:20 PM
  • 3
    Thank you! - 4/26/2013   11:39:57 PM
  • 2
    Excellant
    thank you - 4/26/2013   11:26:27 PM
  • 1
    Thank you for the information. My grandmother had her large intestine removed due to colon cancer many, many years ago. I always said that would be horrible if that happened to me. This should be my biggest worry, and my main reason for watching what I eat. - 4/26/2013   10:06:18 PM

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