5 Steps That Can Reduce Your Risk for Colon Cancer

Each year, about 50,000 people in the U.S. die from colon cancer. And even though colon cancer has a strong genetic factor, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing the disease. 

The medical professionals at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County are experts at diagnosing and treating gastroenterological diseases and disorders. Here are five steps they want you to take to reduce your risk for colon cancer.

1. Maintain a good weight

Obesity is a risk factor for colon cancer and other serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly not only reduces your chances of getting colon cancer, but a healthy weight also reduces stress on your body.

2. Eat healthy 

Eventually, your colon, AKA the large intestine, receives everything you eat. Fiber is critical for making sure food moves through your intestines and out of your body. If food doesn’t move through your body efficiently, inflammation and other issues could lead to abnormal cell development. So make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

3.  Limit day drinking

You might read that a glass or two of wine is good for you. However, a woman who drinks more than one glass of alcohol a day, and a man who drinks more than two per day, increase their risk of colon cancer. 

4. Quit smoking

OK. We know you know that smoking isn’t good for you. But did you know that smoking increases your risk of colon cancer? Giving up tobacco can be tough, but your body will thank you for quitting. We can give you advice on how to quit smoking.

5. Remember to screen 

Colon cancer screenings are vital. Once you hit 45-years-old, you should have your first colonoscopy, the gold standard of colon cancer detection. 

A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. We’ll give you a mild sedative to keep you comfortable, and you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home from your appointment. Screening is important because it can detect colon cancer at an early stage, which is far easier to treat. 

During a colonoscopy, you lie on your side and we insert the colonoscope into your rectum and gently inflate your colon to create space to collect clear images. The device has a light and a camera on its tip that sends a video feed to a monitor in the treatment room, which allows us to examine the images to check for signs of abnormal tissue. 

If we find irregular tissue during your colonoscopy, we’ll perform a biopsy, which means we take a tissue sample for further testing. Depending on the size of the growth or abnormal tissue, we can remove it during your colonoscopy.

If you’re due for a colon cancer screening or have symptoms or a colorectal problem, schedule an appointment at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County by calling 949-612-9090, or by using our online booking tool.

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