Before a diagnosis is ever made, you can take measures to minimise your risk of colorectal cancer. Choosing the right lifestyle and playing it safe with your health can have a drastic impact on your level of risk for colorectal cancer, as this article will show. At G & L Surgical Clinic, we understand that there is a lack of popular knowledge about this particular type of cancer, so we have prepared this article to highlight strategies that you can employ – some today, some the next time you speak to your doctor – to avoid behaviour that may contribute to colorectal cancer.
Minimising risk factors
Colorectal cancer is associated with a number of risk factors, some of which can be addressed and some of which can not. This particular type of cancer is most common in men between the ages of 50 and 75, making it particularly important that they undergo regular screening – more on this below. It is also associated with high intake of fats, alcohol and the eating of red and processed meats, meaning a diet that prioritises plant-proteins, fish and chicken and involves minimal consumption of liquor can steer you in the right direction.
Being obese or overweight, engaging in smoking or living a largely sedentary lifestyle all contribute to your risk, so it’s important to keep your weight in a healthy range, to quit smoking if you currently do and to consider how you could add more exercise to your life.
A healthier lifestyle
Exercise bears specific mention in this article as there is a growing body of evidence that correlates an increase in exercise with a decrease in colorectal cancer-specific mortality. Useful for both individuals who have tested negative for colorectal cancer and cancer survivors who have already undergone treatment, decreasing the risks for people without cancer and potentially having a pro-inflammatory response in survivors. If you’re wondering how you could introduce more exercise into your life to better protect you against cancer, speak to your medical professional.
The importance of screening
One of the most critical choices you can make to protect yourself against the development of cancer is making a firm commitment to regular screening. For people over the age of 50, screening every two years is recommended until the age of 75. This gives the best possible chance of catching pre-cancerous growths and polyps before they become cancerous.
For more information on protecting yourself against colorectal cancer, speak to the team at G & L Surgical Clinic.