Colorectal Cancer – Lifestyle Choices and Risk Reduction

Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.

Lifestyle Choices and Risk Reduction

The risk of developing CRC can be moderated to some degree. Lifestyle choices have been found to play a role and as such, can be altered to decrease the risk of developing CRC. According to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, you can decrease your risk by doing the following:

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, red and processed meats. Try to eat foods that are high in fiber, as well as fruits and vegetables. Be careful though – you are your own best judge of what foods bother your gut and a food journal will help you identify what you can eat.
  • Exercise regularly. Research shows that regular physical activity stimulates your bowel and encourages the passage of stool through the colon, which is necessary for a healthy bowel.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity contributes to higher risk of developing CRC.
  • Quit smoking. It is well known that smoking contributes to lung cancer. You may not have known that smokers also have a higher incidence of colon cancer, possibly due to swallowing of cancer-causing substances.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. For men, that means no more than two drinks per day; for women, it means keeping the limit to one drink per day.

Always consult your doctor if you are feeling unwell to ensure you receive proper treatment right away!