You can help beat the odds against colorectal cancer, also known as CRC. All it takes is lowering your risk and practicing prevention. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, kick your colorectal cancer risk to the curb with these seven tips.
1. Get screened
Early screening for colorectal cancer can find cancer before symptoms develop. The American Cancer Society recommends getting screened starting at age 50. But your family history, ethnicity and race can put you at higher risk. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn if you’re eligible for early screening.
2. Eat right
A healthy diet includes fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Studies show this type of diet lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Skip processed foods, include vegetables with every meal, and snack on fruit throughout the day.
3. Get moving
Being physically active helps lower your risk for developing colorectal cancer. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Your risk of getting or dying from colorectal cancer increases significantly by being overweight or obese. Lose weight to lower your risk by exercising daily and eating healthy.
5. Stamp out smoking
Long-term smokers have a higher chance of developing and dying from colorectal cancer than non-smokers. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to stop. You will look and feel better as well lower your chances.
6. Drink less
Did you know alcohol raises the risk of a number of cancers including colorectal? In fact, the more you drink the higher the risk. The American Cancer Society recommends limiting your intake. For women, this means no more than one drink a day and for men no more than two.
7. Cut back on red and processed meats
People who load up on red meat such as beef and pork, and processed meats like bacon and hot dogs, may raise their risk of colorectal cancer, research shows. Choose chicken instead. Studies show chicken doesn’t raise your risk, and one study shows it may actually lower risk.