Cancer Prevention/Healthy Living

Numerous research studies are consistently showing that the choices we make each day can have an important impact on colon cancer risk. Whether we decide to eat a burger instead of a salad, choose to take the elevator rather than the stairs, or spend more time in front of the computer instead of taking the time to walk the dog. These choices add up over time and actually shift ones risk for colorectal cancer either towards the higher or lower end of the spectrum.

By simply managing the risk factors within your control, you can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. For example a person's risk can be significantly lowered by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables while at the same time reducing the intake of red meat, and high-fat and fried foods. With the addition of regular exercise, ones risk is even further decreased.

The general consensus from scientific literature is that 30-40 percent of all cancers could be prevented by getting regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.

According to a recent published study, researchers believe that colorectal cancer prevention could be as high as 23 percent if everyone followed five lifestyle recommendations.

  1. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  2. A healthy diet thatís high in fiber. That means more than 6 servings of fruits and veggies while limiting red and processed meats to just over one pound per week. Less than 30 percent of your total calories should come from fat.
  3. No more than 7 drinks of alcohol a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men.
  4. Not smoking.
  5. Keeping your weight at a healthy level. Not letting your waist size exceed 34.6 inches for women and 40.1 inches for men.

Some of these are easier to implement than others, though not one is so demanding that it canít become a part of your life. The good news is that even a modest change in your habits could have a substantial impact on your risk of colorectal cancer.

Source: Institute of Cancer Epidemiology of the Danish Cancer Society