How Can Your Diet Decrease Your Cancer Risk?

When it comes to colon cancer, there are many things that have been proven to be risk factors, with diet being one of them. Unlike other risk factors, like age or family history, simple adjustments in your diet can be easy to make and has proven to be an effective tool in helping to prevent colon cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colon Cancer is the second most deadly cancer in the US. Colon Cancer affects the colon and the rectum and is found predominately in patients over 50.

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends several evidence-based steps that you can add to your daily life in order to reduce your risk of Colon Cancer. Top on that list is staying fit and healthy. Begin with a healthy diet including plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber include beans, vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and nuts. Researches also recommend cutting down on heavy amounts of red meat and processed meat like hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats. Make an easy switch to roasted chicken breasts instead and limit red meat consumption to approximately 18 ounces a week. Steer clear of heavy drinking as well. Although a healthy diet is the best place to start, it should also include daily exercise. Whether it’s hitting the gym, doing yoga sessions, or taking walks with your dog, every bit helps. Even if you need to start off with moderate exercises like walking or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, it is important to fit physical activity into your daily routine.

As with all forms of cancer, while diet and exercise are a good place to start, that should not be your only form of protection against the disease. Doctors recommend regular screening and colonoscopies beginning at age 50 for low risk patients and even earlier for patients who are in increased risk categories. It is also important to monitor and understand your daily stomach and bowel health and call the doctor if you see changes in how you are feeling.

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