Get screened for colorectal cancer.
The best way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened for colorectal cancer regularly, beginning at age 45. Almost all colorectal cancers begin as abnormal growths in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer screening can find abnormal
growths so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. If you have a family history of colon cancer, your primary care physician might recommend testing at an earlier age.
Eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Diets that are high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colon cancer. Try eating less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats), which have all been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
If you are not physically active, you may have a greater chance of developing colon cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk. All Sharp Health Plan members have access to free one-on-one, telephone-based Best Health® coaching sessions, which are designed to help you reach your fitness goals.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight may increase your risk of colon cancer. Overall, the risk of cancer increases with the excess weight you gain and the longer you are overweight, the CDC says.
Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop colon cancer. If you do smoke, take advantage of community resources that can help you quit. Best Health offers a free smoking cessation workshop and health coaching to help you quit.
Alcohol use is linked with a higher risk of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.