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What foods can affect the risk of colon cancer?

Studies have shown a slight increased risk of developing colorectal cancer among individuals with higher red meat or non-dairy (meat-associated) fat intake.

Studies have also shown that getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D in the diet or from supplements can reduce the risk of polyps. A plant based diet that is high in fiber may also help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Use of aspirin and NSAIDs (such as celecoxib and sulindac) have been proven to decrease the risk of colorectal polyps. However, the use of these agents is reserved for individuals at high risk for colorectal polyps and cancer.

Ongoing studies evaluating the role of vitamins and other natural products are underway to examine their role in colorectal polyp prevention. Although few studies have been able to show definitively that modifying lifestyle reduces the risk of colorectal polyps or cancer, lifestyle changes such as reducing dietary fat, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, ensuring adequate vitamin and micro-nutrient intake, and exercise, will all improve general health. Regardless of your dietary and lifestyle habits, screening for colorectal polyps is the key in preventing colorectal cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.