Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Some colon cancers can be prevented. A new study by the National Institute of Health found that obesity can change the inside of the colon, which can lead to colon cancer. More research is needed to better understand these changes and the development of colon cancer.
We can all take charge of cancer prevention in our lives and follow these recommendations:
- Screening – Colon cancer screening beginning at age 50 or younger if you have a family history can help prevent colon cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider about what type of screening is right for you and don’t be afraid if a colonoscopy is recommended.
- Diet, Exercise and Body Weight – Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise will help ward off those unwanted pounds and the possibility of obesity. It’s important to maintain a healthy body weight; more belly fat can lead to an increase risk of colon cancer. Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce the occurrence of polyps.
- Alcohol – Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAIDS) – Study show regular use of NSAIDS, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, reduce the occurrence of polyps. These medications can have serious side effects and should not be taken on a regular basis without consulting a healthcare provider first.