How many times has your doctor told you that you need to make sure to incorporate regular exercise into your weekly routine? Or maybe that it’s a good idea to lose those extra pounds you’ve been holding on to for the last few years? This is general advice given by most healthcare professionals, as being an ideal weight is always good for your health. But did you know that losing the weight and establishing a good exercise routine could also reduce your chance of getting colon cancer?
What Risks Can I Control?
Researchers can’t pinpoint the exact cause of colon cancer, a disease that the American Cancer Society is projecting over 135,000 new cases of in 2017, but they can pinpoint the major risk factors for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer affects either the colon or the rectum and usually starts as a small growth, called a polyp, found on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.
One of the major factors that contribute to colon cancer is an unhealthy lifestyle. In addition to maintaining a good exercise and fitness routine, it is important to eat a well balanced diet. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in red or processed meats are ideal. Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum and you should quit smoking altogether. If you are stuck in a rut on the diet and exercise front and aren’t sure how to make it work, start slow and encourage your family or friends to help. Find a fun form of exercise you can do with others so that you can hold each other accountable.
How Can GI Associates Help?
There are other risk factors for colon cancer that are unfortunately out of our hands to change, but should be discussed with your doctor at GI Associates if you fall into certain categories. Both men and women over 50 are at a higher risk, as are members of certain races and ethnic groups. If you have a preexisting health condition of the bowels or Type 2 Diabetes, this may also increase your risk. Lastly, if you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need screening tests earlier than your peers. Contact GI Associates today to discuss your health and potential risks for colon cancer.