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Can a healthy lifestyle lower my risk of colorectal cancer?

You can lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer by managing the risk factors that you can control, like diet and physical activity.
Diets high in vegetables and fruits have been linked with lower risk of colon cancer. Diets high in processed and/or red meats have been linked with a higher risk. The American Cancer Society recommends that you eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources. This includes the following:
a. Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
b. Eat 5 or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
c. Choose whole grains rather than processed (refined) grains.
d. Limit your intake of processed and red meats.
Avoiding excessive alcohol intake may also help lower your risk of colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
Physical activity is another area that you can control. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity on 5 or more days of the week. Moderate or vigorous activity for at least 45 minutes on 5 or more days of the week may lower your risk for colorectal cancer even more.
Obesity raises the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, but the link seems to be stronger in men. The American Cancer Society recommends that people try to maintain a healthy weight throughout life by balancing what they eat with physical activity. If you are overweight, you can ask your doctor about a weight loss plan that will work for you.

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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.