March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. According to healthfinder.gov:
"Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older."
But there is positive news: If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer would be prevented.
So, this is truly a senior care topic. Here are 5 tips on how to help prevent colorectal cancer:
Tip 1: Get screened! This is one of the very few conditions where a screening test may also be preventive. During a colonoscopy polyps may be easily removed before they can become cancerous!
Tip 2: Exercise may be preventive. This is probably not news to anyone, since research in nearly every major disease is showing benefits of regular exercise. But, most of us need a regular, gentle reminder to do our 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week.
Tip 3: Limit your alcohol intake. Consuming 2 or less alcoholic beverages per day for men (1 or less for women) has been shown to help reduce risk of many cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Tip 4: Control your weight, especially belly fat. According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, you're at increased risk to develop colon cancer with a high amount of belly (waist) fat. One of the best ways to lose this fat, according to nutritionists, is to reduce your consumption of red meats and focus on eating the healthier colorful fruits and vegetables.
Tip 5: Avoid cigarettes. Long-term cigarette smoking is associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer, even after accounting for known risk factors such as race, body mass index, and a family history of the disease, according to a study by American Cancer Society.
Be well! Here's to your next colonoscopy!