How To Lower Your Risk Of Colon Cancer

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The colon is a breeding ground for many diseases that can have a serious impact on your health. The build-up of toxins from partially-digested foods and a poor diet raises the risk of the stealthy and very deadly colon cancer. Studies have shown that it is the fourth most common disease worldwide, and the third most common in the US. It is also the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the world, and the rates are rising steadily.

Thankfully, reducing the risks of this deadly cancer is very much under your own control. By following a healthy diet and getting some regular exercise, you can literally safe your life.

The symptoms are not always obvious, and often when symptoms do appear, the cancer has already spread to other areas. If you are at risk for colon cancer, be proactive and visit the doctor for screening, or even a colonoscopy. If it is detected early, it can be treated and cured, and screening is the best way to diagnose the disease.

But even if you do not have a major risk, or perhaps only an average risk of developing the disease, cancer experts recommend that anyone over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy every 10 years just to be safe.


What are the risks of getting colon cancer?

Obviously, not everyone is at the same risk, as there are factors which may make one person more prone to developing colon cancer than another may be. Here is a list of major risks.

  • Research has shown that a poor diet plays a huge part especially the typical western diet of high fats and low fiber.
  • People with a poor dietary habit of eating a lot of red meat, and other processed meats, as well as refined foods made from flour and sugar, have a greater risk.
  • If you do not exercise regularly, you are more likely to develop colon cancer.
  • Studies have indicated that obese and very overweight people have an increased risk of developing colon cancer, and if they do develop the disease, they have a higher risk of dying from it than people of a normal weight.
  • Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and heavy use of alcohol leads to a much higher risk of developing the disease.
  • A family history of colon cancer also increases your risk.
  • Research has revealed that most of the people being diagnosed with the cancer, are older than 50, although it can less frequently occur in younger people.
  • Studies have also shown that African-Americans appear to have a higher risk than people of other races.

If you suspect that you may be at risk for one or more of these reasons, visit your doctor to discuss the problem, and  possibly receive a full examination and screening.

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Symptoms of colon cancer

Symptoms of colon cancer often don’t appear early, and sometimes by the time they do become apparent, it is only after the cancer may have already grown. Here are some of the common symptoms of colon cancer which should be investigated if you have any of them.

  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Dark stools or blood in the stools.
  • Frequent cramping and belly pain.
  • A sudden change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, or constipation, which lasts for several days without relief.
  • A constant feeling that you need to have a bowel movement which does not go away, even if you do have one.
  • Unusual weakness and fatigue.
  • Rapid, unexplained weight loss.

Note that there are some symptoms, similar to those of colon cancer, like irritable bowel syndrome, infection, or inflammation in the bowel, and haemorrhoids, which may not be a sign of cancer at all. However, those symptoms are still worth a medical check-up just to be on the safe side.


How to lower your chances of getting colon cancer

At first glance, the cancer symptoms may seem quite hectic, but this is nothing compared to how devastated you will be if you actually develop the disease. Fortunately, there are actions that you can take to protect yourself from this illness.

  • The most important thing is to get screened before there are any symptoms of colon cancer. Screening is a test that will establish if there are any signs of cancer, and may even identify growths known as polyps, which can easily be removed before they develop into cancer.
  • Embark on a healthy diet which includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Cut out refined foods wherever possible.
  • Eat less red meat like beef, pork, and lamb, as well as processed fast foods, which have all been known to be a colon cancer risk.
  • Get physically active with regular exercise.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight is a high risk of getting the disease – and dying from it.
  • Quit smoking because long-term smokers have a major risk of developing not only colon cancer, but several other cancers.
  • The America Cancer Society also warns about heavy drinking being linked to colon, and other deadly cancers. Protect yourself, and your life, by cutting down on alcohol intake.


READ ALSO: 11 Surprising Things That Can Be Causing Cancer Video


These are just simple steps which you can take to lower your risk of this abhorrent disease.

Colon cancer is preventable. Simple lifestyle changes and screening before symptoms appear will give you the best chance of avoiding the disease. Taking action can save your life – after all it is the only one you have!