WHAT IS COLORECTAL CANCER?
Generally, cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. However, colorectal cancer (CRC), also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is simply the development of cancer from the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine).
Colorectal cancer is one of the more common cancers, about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colon or rectal cancer at some point during their lifetime. But there are things you can do to help lower your risk and they are as follows:
GET YOURSELF SCREENED: Colorectal screenings can often find growths on the colon or rectum called polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. These tests also can find colon or rectal cancer earlier, when treatments are more likely to be successful. It is advisable to do screening every 3 months at least to ensure you are in perfect health.
EAT HEALTHY: Diets that include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colon or rectal cancer. Eat less red meat (beef, pork,) and processed meats, which have been linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
EXERCISE: If you are not physically active, you may have a greater chance of developing colon or rectal cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk.
DRINK MODERATELY: Alcohol is a strange thing when it comes to health. It’s heart-healthy in moderation but can increase the risk of colon and other cancers at high levels. If you drink moderately (up to one drink per day for women, two per day for men), there’s likely no reason for you to stop. If you don’t drink, though, there’s no reason for you to start. Heavy drinkers should try to cut down or quit.
BE INFORMED: Often, people have no symptoms in the early stages of colorectal cancer, when it’s easier to treat. That’s why it is critical to identify those at higher risk of developing the disease. Primary care physicians can help assess your risks. Also, it is important to know your family history because it can be hereditary.
Always keep healthy.