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5 Steps That Can Reduce Your Risk for Colon Cancer

We all know that cancer kills, but some types are more deadly than others. Colon and rectal cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the third most-fatal cancer in the United States, and the American Cancer Society anticipates that colorectal cancer will claim nearly 53,000 lives this year alone. 

Our team at Choice Cancer Care is dedicated to the early detection of all types of cancer, diagnosing the disease, and administering effective treatments based on the latest research and most advanced technology. However, despite sophisticated techniques and medical advancements, the best weapon in our arsenal against cancer is still prevention.

There are several known risk factors that increase your chances of colon cancer, including genetics, age, and ethnicity — things you can’t control. But there are many things you can control. So for our patients considered high risk for colon cancer, we offer annual colon cancer screenings as well as these five strategies for preventing the onset of this insidious disease.

1. Eat more plants and fewer animal foods

Everything you choose to eat either helps or harms your health — and this is definitely true when it comes to colon cancer. 

Colon cancer seems to be linked to red meat consumption, and this includes not only beef, but pork and lamb, and especially hot dogs, deli meats, and other processed meats. You don’t have to go vegetarian, but cutting way back on these animal-based foods will give you an advantage.

You’ll also do yourself a favor by ramping up your veggie and fruit intake. Fresh produce does wonders for your immune system and your colon health, as do whole grains.

2. Stop smoking

This health tip is part of just about every medical list of cautions from heart and lung health to surgery protocol to anti-aging routines — and for good reason, as smoking makes every bad condition worse. 

Inhaling smoke initiates a chain of events that can lead to colon cancer: Toxins stimulate free radicals, free radicals damage DNA, damaged DNA mutates healthy cells, mutated cells form polyps in your colon.

What’s more, if a nonsmoker and a person who has smoked both have colon cancer and have surgery to treat it, the smoker has a 23% higher chance than the nonsmoker of dying or having their cancer return within three years. If a person is a smoker at the time of diagnosis, the risk increases to 47%.

3. Drink less alcohol

Compared to people who never drink alcohol, those whose consumption is moderate to heavy have a greater chance of getting colon cancer — up to 1.5 times greater. If you can’t give up your evening cocktail, beer, or glass of wine, try not to exceed two drinks a day if you’re a man and one drink if you’re a woman. 

4. Lose weight

If you’re overweight or obese, it increases your risk of dying from colon cancer if you get it. Obesity alters the way your hormones function, particularly leptin and insulin, which keeps your blood sugar under control. In addition to putting you at risk for diabetes, this change can lead to irregular cell growth in your colon. 

5. Move more

People who exercise regularly not only keep their weight down, which decreases their chance of dying from colon cancer, it also improves your overall health and wellness, which puts you in a better position to battle any illness, including colon cancer. 

Hope for overcoming colon cancer 

Early detection of any cancer is always key in the efficacy of your treatment. Our team is highly experienced and knows how to tackle colon cancer at any stage, even precancerous polyps that haven’t yet developed into malignant tumors. 

From traditional treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery to newer approaches like biologics, we offer the latest and most effective treatments available. 

To learn more about colon cancer, how to prevent it, and how to beat it, schedule an appointment with our experts today. Call us at any of our five Texas locations in Plano, Lewisville, Irving, Decatur, or Southlake, or request an appointment online.

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