How to Prevent Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States — but prevention or early detection is key to increased survival rate. You can take simple steps to prevent (and detect) colon cancer.
It could save your life.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you.
We all have aches and pains, and they’re there for a reason: Your body is giving you warning signs that something isn’t quite right. Whether it’s a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, or intermittent or persistent abdominal pain/bloating, these are signs that you may need to see a gastrointestinal doctor.
Your doctor can determine the cause of the symptoms that could signify colon cancer — and work to prevent and treat it.
Colon cancer can be prevented with screenings like a colonoscopy. The point of these screenings is to detect polyps or growths in the colon that could potentially turn into cancer. Through the colonoscopy screening, these potentially serious growths can be removed before they have a chance to become cancerous.
The American Cancer Society recommends that EVERYONE be screened for colon cancer with a colonoscopy by age 45 — or sooner, if your health care provider, risk factors or symptoms indicate a need.
Know your risk factors.
While cancer can develop without any prior indications, there are factors that can increase your risk of developing colon cancer. Being aware of those risk factors means you can detect colon cancer in its earliest stages, for the best survival rate — or prevent it altogether.
- Family history. Know if your direct blood relatives (parents, siblings, children) or multiple second-degree relatives (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins) have had colon cancer OR precancerous polyps, or other hereditary cancer syndromes.
- Personal history. If you had pre-cancerous polyps in the past, or other health conditions (Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), your risk for colon cancer can also be increased.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
As with many health conditions, how you take care of your body plays a large part in how your body treats you. The same can be said for colon cancer prevention. The diet we consume can help keep our GI tract healthy and the exercise we partake in works on keeping our bodies healthy and reducing our cancer risk.
- Less red meat and processed meats
- More fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Regular physical activity (as permitted by your doctor)
- Not smoking
Prevent Colon Cancer Now
Call Gastrointestinal Specialists P.C. in Troy, Michigan to prevent and detect colon cancer. Request an appointment online so our team can help you save time and money with your colonoscopy screening today.