March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. About 1 in 20 people in the U.S. will develop colon cancer at some point in their life. Our family was rocked when my mother in law was diagnosed by colon cancer battled it and lived for 14 years in the end developing cancer again and passing. While genetics and aging are both risk factors there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from colon cancer.
The #1 thing you can do is get tested for colon cancer. Tests that can find polyps (growths) can be removed before they turn into cancer. The tests can also help find colon cancer cells earlier. The earlier found the more successful the treatment will be. The recommended age for testing is 50 your doctor can give you more information on this.
Diets that are high in vegetable sources, fruits and whole grains have also been shown to be helpful in decreased in risk of colon cancer. It is best to get fiber from food rather than supplements Eat less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats), which have been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer. Regular exercise helps to reduce risk of colon cancer. You can find out more information on eating right and getting exercise at cancer.org/foodandfitness.
Overeating and Smoking are two features that increase risk of getting and dying from colon cancer. Heavy drinking has also been lifestyle habits can also lower the risk for many other types of cancer.