Though finding and removing polyps is the surest way to keep it from developing, there are 3 areas in which you can...
Decrease Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer
1. Know Your Risk and Follow a Sensible Colonoscopy Screening Plan.
Find and remove any polyps before they become cancerous.
2. Make Healthful Lifestyle Choices.
Since we know that the unrelated spouses of people with colon cancer are more likely to develop it, scientists are reasonably sure that your lifestyle environment, such as diet, exercise and smoking, play a role in risk levels. Therefore, knowing and making the right choices can make a difference.
There are two areas: diet and nutrition, and health habits.
Diet and Nutrition There's good evidence that doing the following may reduce your risk:
- Increase Your Fiber, Fruit and Vegetables
Though some studies disagree, a high intake of fiber may protect by moving stool more quickly through the bowel; fruits and vegetables may also have nutrients such as antioxidants that may protect against cancer-producing free radical molecules.
- Increase Your Calcium
A high calcium intake in dairy or supplements appears protective, with the higher the intake, the more protection.
- Increase Your Intake of Folic Acid (Folate)
A daily supplement of 2 mg of folic acid, a B vitamin needed to make and repair DNA, reduced abnormal cell activity in people prone to polyps. Studies show less colorectal cancer with greater folic acid intake, whether as supplements or as food.
- Increase Your Vitamin B6
The higher the intake, the more protection that has been shown. 8.6 mg daily has been shown to reduce colon cancer by 58%. Intake of up to 100 mg is safe.
- Limit Fat
especially animal fats and saturated fats such as coconut and palm oils
- Limit Meat
especially RED and PROCESSED MEAT
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol
particularly distilled spirits.
Health Habits These healthful habits have clearly been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
- EXERCISE – Keep up your physical activity level.
- STAY SMOKE-FREE
- KEEP YOUR WEIGHT DOWN – Obesity has been linked to colorectal cancer, as well as other serious health problems.
3. Other Preventative Measures
Aspirin and NSAIDs
(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Regularly taking aspirin or NSAIDs reduces the chance of colorectal cancer. But we caution against higher doses. Higher doses work even better to prevent polyps, but add to the risk of digestive tract bleeding. Consult with your gastroenterologist to determine the best balance of risks for you.
New studies show that these cholesterol-lowering drugs also inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in the laboratory. In one earlier randomized clinical trial involving patients who had had heart attacks, the use of statins seemed to be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
It is too soon for us to recommend taking these drugs only to lower risk for colorectal cancer. But if you may need these drugs for other reasons, this might be an additional reason to do so.
| || || ||to Colonoscopy: |
Effective and Cost-Effective