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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is by getting screened. Normally, screening for colorectal cancer begins at the age of 50.
Typically, colorectal cancers start with precancerous polyps. These can exist in the colon for a long time before any type of cancer develops. People who have polyps may not have any symptoms, which is why it is important to get screened.
In addition to getting screened, the following lifestyle measures can help lower your risk of colorectal cancer:
DietEat a diet that’s low in processed meats and animal fats and high in fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, if you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
AspirinResearch shows taking a daily low-dose aspirin can help prevent both heart disease and colorectal cancer in some adults, which is also dependent on age and other risk factors. Discuss with your doctor if low-dose aspirin therapy may be appropriate for you.
Other Healthy ChoicesBeing overweight, obese, or using tobacco all have an increased association of colorectal cancer. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Also avoid smoking and using other tobacco products.
Learn the Signs and SymptomsNot all cases of colorectal cancer have the same signs and symptoms, but common issues may appear. If you have blood with bowel movements, regular stomach pain, or other concerns, take note of what you’re experiencing and discuss this with your doctor as a high priority.
Learn about your family historyIf colorectal cancer runs in your family, it’s important to discuss with your doctor so that you understand this risk and if earlier screening may be appropriate.
For more information on prevention and risk management, visit the following:
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