Colorectal Cancer 101

Colorectal is often not discussed as much in the media as it should be, considering that is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined, according to the American Cancer Association. If you’re like me and don’t know much about colorectal cancer, keep reading to find out more about the illness and how you can prevent it.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer either occurs in the colon or the rectum and either is referred to as colon or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer began. Cancer begins with cancerous polyps being found in either of the two areas. It is important to get a screening done from the variety of screening options available:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Virtual Colonoscopy
  • A stool DNA test
  • Sigmoidoscopy, an examination of the sigmoid colon

Of course, not every polyp will be cancerous. Make sure to meet with an expert, like GastroCare LI, to find out which screening option is best for you at your stage in life so you can get any possible polyps examined.

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to prevent colorectal cancer from developing. These aren’t surefire ways to completely stop the disease from developing, but can definitely help you lower your risk.

  • Managing your Weigh

Obesity increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer — this is true in both men and women. Avoiding excessive weight gain around the midsection especially may help you avoid developing colorectal cancer in the future.

  • Adding Physical Activity to Your Daily Routine.

Experts have also found that vigorous physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Try getting physical exercise at least sixty minutes every day. Doing so will also help you keep off excess weight, helping you further prevent colorectal cancer.

  • Diet

Try switching up your diet to prevent colorectal cancer. Studies have shown foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been shown to decrease the risk for colorectal cancer, while foods like red meat have been shown to increase the risk. While you don’t have to eliminate red meat completely, it might be helpful to substitute with other options at times.

  • Alcohol

Curb your alcohol intake to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Again, you don’t have to eliminate it completely from your diet, but managing your intake is certainly a good idea. This can also help you cut out the excess calories that can lead to weight gain.

  • Smoking

As you likely already know, smoking is linked to developing many cancers, including colorectal cancer. Stay away from smoking or meet with a doctor to discuss quitting to improve your overall health.

Again, following these steps are not a guaranteed way to avoid being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. It is imperative that you continue to get screened for the disease when advised to by your physician. The earlier that you catch the disease, the easier it will be to treat. I hope you found the information in this post helpful!