How To Prevent Colon Cancer

We have already discussed certain important information about Colorectal Cancer more commonly known and understood as Bowel Cancer. As it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors associated with a disease, so is information about its prevention very important. In this article we discuss a few tips that can help avoid this specific cancer. There is no guarantee that observing the tips will provide 100% immunity from the disease but as the wise say ‘Prevention is better than cure’

Can colorectal cancer be prevented?

As discussed in an earlier article, the exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known. Many of the causes can be prevented. Bowl cancer or colorectal cancer happens when the cancer cells spread in the rectum, appendix and in the colon. Bowel cancer starts as a polyp. The earlier the bowl cancer is detected the easier it is to cure the same. Bowel cancer can show symptoms like pain in the abdomen area, blood in the stool and also bleeding.

The first step for prevention is early detection. Screening tests can be undertaken for Colorectal cancer.

  • Screening Tests & Genetic Testing

Screening as we understand is the process of looking for cancer in people who are not showing any symptoms of the disease. Regular screening serves as a good option in the case colorectal cancer. Some polyps can be detected and removed before they change to something serious. As we already know early detection increases the chances of cure.

People who have no risk of colorectal cancer should ideally begin screening at the age of 50. People who have a higher risk factor should bring up the matter with their doctors and can start screening at a young age.

People with a strong family history may also be recommended genetic testing. While going for genetic testing it is important to understand what the results can be. The tests cannot be accepted as final and in some cases may not even give some concrete results.

  • Diet, Physical Activity and Lifestyle

    Prevent Colon Cancer

    Prevent Colon Cancer

For avoiding Bowel cancer or reducing the risk of the same the answer lies in the diet and the lifestyle that one enjoys.

Obesity: Studies have pointed towards obesity increasing the risk of colorectal cancer in case of both sexes. The relationship between a larger waist line and men has been found to be stronger in the case of men rather than women. People who have obesity running in their families need to be over cautious about their health.

Diet: A diet that is rich in cruciferous vegetables, fruits and whole grains is linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Higher intake of fiber is considered to be good for overall health. Studies have also indicated that higher intake of processed and red meat makes one susceptible to the risk of colorectal cancer.

Physical Activity: Higher physical activity is also known to reduce the risk of bowel cancer. This also means that increasing physical activity can reduce chances of acquiring this type of cancer.

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Cigarette Smoking: The most commonly associated cancer with cigarette smoking is lung cancer but smoking is also highly harmful for the colon and the rectum. Research has indicated towards a close relation between the two.  The carcinogens that are found in tobacco are known to increase cancerous growth in these organs.

Vitamins and minerals: It is important that one’s diet be rich in vitamins and minerals for general health. There are no clear results indicating if taking vitamins and minerals can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Certain studies have indicated that vitamin D can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer while others have indicated towards getting enough calcium and magnesium. These studies need to be corroborated with further and conclusive evidence.

Aspirin and other drugs: Certain drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are known to lower risk of polyps and colorectal cancer. These medicines can have side effects and as a result are not commonly recommended as an option for preventing colorectal cancer.

Female Hormones: Regular dose of estrogen and progesterone after a woman experiences menopause can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. It is important to remember that hormone therapy may subject the woman to a number of other problems. Opting for hormone therapy should be a well solicited decision and would depend on case to case.

Tips for preventing bowel cancer

Some general tips that should be kept in mind for preventing bowel cancer are:

  • Indulge in regular physical activity
  • Keep intake of processed and red meat to the minimum. Red meat  and processed meat can be substituted with poultry and fish.

    How To prevent Colon Cancer

    How To prevent Colon Cancer

  • Ensure that your diet has recommended level of calcium and vitamin D. Milk, cheeses and yogurts can be a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Care has to be taken to opt for lower calorie and fat content versions.
  • Enjoy a vegetable and fruit based diet.
  • Avoid diet that is rich in fat.
  • Keep a check on your weight
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
  • Enjoy water. Ensure that you intake regular and plenty water.


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  • ShantiniDiaz
  • A management professional with over a decade of experience at senior managerial positions in different organisations.