Your Better Health Center - Your Guide to Preventing Colorectal Cancer

Your Guide to Preventing Colorectal Cancer

You have the power to lower your risk of having colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer can be very treatable when found early, and in many cases, can be prevented altogether. 

Luckily, you have some powerful prevention tools:

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Research has shown that people who follow these types of healthy habits have a much lower chance of having colorectal cancer than those who don’t:

  • Strive to maintain a low-fat diet that’s high in fiber.
  • When combined, alcohol and tobacco are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. If you use tobacco, quit. 
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days per week.

Regular Colorectal Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular colorectal screenings starting at age 45 through age 75 for people at average risk. Screening beyond that would be up to you and your doctor, depending on previous findings and your risk factors. 

There are several different types of screenings. You and your doctor can decide what is the best option for you.

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
  • Yearly fecal occult blood test
  • Yearly stool fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
  • Stool DNA test every 1 to 3 years

Talk with your primary care provider (PCP) about which test is best for you. Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal or family health history. Talk with your PCP about your health history.

Take charge of your health! Schedule an appointment with your doctor today to discuss your options for preventive colon cancer screenings and how you can lower your risk.



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