Small Steps, Big Impact: Simple Lifestyle Changes to Lower Your Colorectal Cancer Risk

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It can be challenging to detect in its early stages, but there are many things you can do every day to reduce your risk. 

By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising regularly, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy weight, you may lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer or dying from it if diagnosed with this disease.

Read on to check out some tips and advice from Dr. Faride Ramos!

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of death from cancer, and it’s one of the most preventable types. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or are over 50 years old, there are specific steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Get screened for colorectal cancer at age 50 (or earlier if there is a family history). Screening tests can find early signs of cancer before symptoms appear. They include colonoscopy (a procedure where doctors look inside your large intestine with a camera) and sigmoidoscopy (an exam using flexible tubes inserted into your rectum).

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer and other obesity-related diseases such as liver disease. Keeping your weight in check can help you reduce this risk and improve overall health.

If you’re overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about how best to manage it safely and effectively–there are many options available that don’t involve prescription medication or surgery!

Eat Healthily

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. For example, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may reduce your risk by as much as 40%.

Avoid processed foods that contain added sugar and refined grains (like white flour). These types of food have been linked to higher colon cancer rates.

Red meat has also been linked with increased colorectal cancer risk, so limit how much red meat you eat each week (for example, one serving per day for women; two servings per day for men).

Get Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and lower your risk of colorectal cancer. 

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (such as running or jogging), or a combination of moderate and vigorous activities.

You may also want to consider adding strength training exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, which have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of colon cancer by lowering insulin levels in the body. 

Strength training can also assist in:

  • Increasing levels of “good” cholesterol
  • Improving blood flow throughout the body
  • Reducing inflammation in tissues
  • Improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance (which can help prevent diabetes)
  • Improving muscle mass
  • Reducing body fat percentage

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Limit alcohol consumption. The National Cancer Institute recommends limiting your daily intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, which is about 12 ounces of beer or five ounces of wine. This can help lower colorectal cancer risk by as much as 40%. 

Smoking and chewing tobacco are also known risk factors for colorectal cancer. If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop to reduce your risk.

Choose Dr. Faride Ramos for Your Health

For those who are concerned about their colorectal cancer risk, the good news is that there are easy steps you can take to lower it.

These lifestyle changes will not only help keep your body healthy but also reduce your chances of developing other diseases like heart disease or diabetes later on in life.

If you’re concerned about your health, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ramos at (754) 732-4300!


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