Prevention & Screening
While not all colon cancer risk factors can be avoided or controlled, you may be able to lower your risk of developing this disease through diet and exercise. Generally, diets consisting of vegetables, fruits and whole-grains have been linked to lower colon cancer risk.
You can learn to eat a healthy, cancer-fighting diet by following these guidelines from the American Cancer Society:
- Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources
- Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources
- Be physically active; achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
Fiber speeds up the passage of food waste through the bowel, reducing the amount of time any toxic substances stay in the body. Foods rich in fiber also tend to contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have been linked to cancer prevention.
Studies show that eating a fiber-enriched, whole-grain diet may reduce one’s risk of colon cancer. Adding three servings of whole grains to one’s daily diet reduces the risk of colon cancer by a fifth and for each 10 g/day intake of total dietary fiber, there is a 10% reduction of risk of colon cancer.1
More information about how diet and exercise can help prevent cancer is available at the American Cancer Society website.
1. Aune D, Chan DS, Lau R, Vieira R, Greenwood DC, Kampman E, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ 2011;343:d6617