How to Prevent the Risk of Colon Cancer?
Just like any other disease, prevention is better than cure for colon cancer too. A few years back, colon cancer was believed to be more of a Western disease. But recently, the number of colon cancers is on the rise.
Moreover, the survival rate in Indian patients is low compared to Western counterparts. So in today’s blog, we will take a Quick Look at some steps you can take to prevent colon cancer.
Let’s start straight away.
Steps to Prevent Colon Cancer
Stop/reduce Smoking: If you are a smoker, your risk of getting colon cancer is 20 to 30% more. Additionally, if you have started smoking at a young age or are a chain smoker ( more than 10 cigarettes per day), it’s critical to reduce it. In short, if you reduce or quit smoking entirely, it can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Reduce alcohol: Alcohol, too, can increase your colon cancer risk. Moreover, it’s important to understand that there is no safe amount of alcohol.So either stop drinking it entirely or reduce the amount as much as possible. Even if you are Drinking less, it can put you at a higher risk of colon cancer.
Avoid Western diet: Western diet, too, can significantly increase your risk of colon cancer. The Western diet is the diet that has a high amount of processed food like “Maida”, which is present in a lot of food items like naan, cakes, pastries and biscuits. Cutting down on such food can be very helpful in reducing your exposure to colon cancer.
Instead, you can eat turkey, chicken or fish like salmon can be more healthy. Still, the plant-based diet (vegetarian diet) is the best choice to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer.
In fact, certain studies have found that a vegetarian Diet can reduce the risk of colon cancer by almost 50%. And if we eat fruits and leafy vegetables at least 3 to 4 times a week, it’s even better.
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Manage weight: Being overweight, too, can increase your risk of colon cancer. So we strongly recommend maintaining the weight in the normal range. And if you can reduce your weight, the risk of colon cancer can be reduced significantly.
If you have a sedentary life and you have very minuscule physical activities in your routine, it can increase your risk of colon cancer.
So make sure you spare 30 to 45 mins for regular physical activity daily to reduce your risk of Colon Cancer. You can do any physical activity, whether swimming, walking, running or aerobics. But make sure you stick to the regime strictly.
Screening for Colon Cancer: There are certain individuals who are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer. It’s important to identify cancer, if present, in such individuals with the screening tests.
This can be done with the help of a colonoscopy or stool examination. Such early testing can ensure whether colon cancer is in the early stage.
If it’s, what can be Done to Detect and treat it?
So if you are exposed to colon cancer’s risk factors or experiencing conditions like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease or Hereditary syndrome like Lynch or FAP syndrome, you should get regular screening after 45 years of age.
The screening tests include Colonoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy, Fecal Occult blood test or picking up cancer DNA in the stool. These tests can be very helpful in the early diagnosis of colon cancer.
Take a Moment to Call Someone You Care About
The We hope this guide will prove helpful for you in understanding the steps you can take to prevent the risk of colon cancer. Remember, a healthy lifestyle starts with you. So follow these steps, start engaging in a healthy routine, and you can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer.
In case you need any further information related to colon cancer, feel free to ask. We will get back to you as soon as possible with the answers.
Dr. Aditya Kulkarni
MS, DNB, FRCS, MCh (Surgical Gastroenterology & GI Oncology)
Dr. Aditya Kulkarni is a Consultant of Laparoscopic and Robotic Gastrointestinal, Hepato-biliary-pancreatic, and Cancer Surgeon at the Renowned Oasis Surgery Clinic Pune.
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