5 Things To Do Every Day To Keep Your Colon Healthy
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society estimates that 105,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2020. 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colon cancer in their lifetime. The links between lifestyle choices and colon cancer are some of the strongest of any type of cancer. The good news is that you can take steps every day to keep your colon healthy.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer. Red meat (like beef, pork, and lamb) and process meats (like hot dogs and some deli meats) have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. You can swap out red and processed meats for other sources of protein, like tofu, beans, or non-red meats.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Physical activity can help lower your risk of colon cancer. 30 minutes of activity a day is recommended by most experts. Activity doesn’t have to be scary, intense, or in a gym. Exercise can be something you can look forward to! Try a bunch of activities, find a fun way to move, and make a commitment to it a few times a week.
3. Keep a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases the risk of developing colon cancer. This is especially true for people who have a larget waistline. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help you control your weight. One way to measure height and weight is to calculate your Body Mass Index. Your doctor can help you evaluate your weight and give advice to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Watch Alcohol Intake
Moderate to heavy alcohol use has been linked to colon cancer. Once in the body, alcohol is converted into a chemical that can grow into tumors. The more you drink, the more the risk of colon cancer increases. Men should limit alcohol consumption to two drinks a day; women should only have one drink per day.
5. Don’t Smoke
It’s common knowledge that smoking causes lung cancers, but it’s linked to a lot of other cancers. Long term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop (and even die) from colon cancer. There are no benefits to smoking. If you smoke, it’s time to quit.
Making healthy lifestyle choices is an important preventative measure against colon cancer. So is getting doctor-recommended screening. If you’re ready to take the next step for your colon health, schedule an appointment today.