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Five Ways to Maintain a Healthy Colon

Colon Cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States. There is an approximately 4% lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer in both men and women. While there is a genetic component to the disease, there are some risk factors that you can control. 

Five Ways to Maintain a Healthy Colon
  1. Healthy Diet
    A diet high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats may lower your risk of developing colon cancer. 
  2. Exercise
    The American Cancer Society says that carrying extra weight increases your risk of colon cancer. Increasing your physical activity decreases your risk of polyps and colorectal cancer. Regular moderate activity lowers the risk and vigorous activity may have even more benefit.  keep your body at a healthy weight and help protect against colon cancer. 
  3. Limit your alcohol intake
    Several studies have found a higher risk of colorectal cancer with increased alcohol intake – particularly among men. If you drink alcohol, keep it at a moderate level.
  4. Quit Smoking
    Long term smoking is associated with a greater risk of colorectal and other cancers. Your primary care physician can give you tips on how to help you stop. If you would like more information on quitting click here.
  5. Follow screening guidelines 
    One of the most important strategies in early detection is regular screening. The American Cancer Society recommends both men and women have regular screening beginning at age 45 (or at age 40 if there is a family history of colon cancer).

You and your primary care provider may consider a less invasive alternative for the screening of colorectal cancer; CT Virtual Colonoscopy. CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a safe and reliable screening alternative for patients that cannot or choose not to undergo conventional colonoscopy. 

Discuss with your primary care provider when it is appropriate for you to begin screening. 

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