Being prepared and preventive toward diseases is an essential step in staying healthy. As March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to help keep people informed about this disease and share tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy.
Colorectal cancer, which is more commonly called colon or rectal cancer, starts as a growth on the inner lining of either of these body parts. These growths known as polyps have several variations and are not always cancerous. Some types, however, do have the capability of turning into cancer over time.
According to the University of California-San Francisco, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States; but about 90% of colorectal cancers and deaths are thought to be preventable.
Here are a few lifestyle and dieting tips from the American Cancer Society that are helpful in inhibiting colorectal cancer:
· Add plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains to your diet.
· Get regular exercise in whatever form you are capable of and comfortable with.
· Maintain a healthy weight.
· Avoid all types of tobacco products.
· Reduce alcohol consumption.
· Limit red meat, especially processed meat, in your meals.
· Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D each day.
Most importantly, getting screened for colorectal cancer in tests like a colonoscopy can help identify polyps before they have the opportunity to become cancerous. The American Cancer Society recommends people start testing around the age of 45. Talk with your health care provider about when you should start screening and what tests are right for you.
Be smart, get screened, stay healthy.