By: Madonna Behen
When it comes to preventing colon cancer, screenings are a must. That’s because during a screening test, your doctor can detect and remove precancerous polyps many years before they would have turned into cancer. But scheduling regular screenings isn’t the only decision you can make to help lower your risk of colon cancer. There’s plenty of evidence that the lifestyle choices you make every day -- including what you eat and how active you are -- can also play an important role. Here are 4 things you can start doing now to help slash your risk of colon cancer.
Caused by growths that turn malignant, colon cancer develops slowly over several years.The cancer begins when precancerous growths called adenomatous polyps form in the tissues of the colon, which makes up the lower part of our di...gestive system. Polyps can be detected through colon screenings. A colonoscopy uses a thin, lighted tube to search for polyps, cancer and abnormal areas in the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is recommended at least every 10 years, starting at the age of 45 for African-Americans who are at greater risk for the cancer and at 50 for other races. Your risk for colon cancer increases if you have had previous cancers, a family history of colon or rectal cancers, or have ulcerative colitis. See your doctor if you have rectal bleeding, notice changes in your bowel movements or have unexplained weight loss. To prevent colon cancer, get screened as recommended by your doctor, maintain a healthy diet, exercise often and quit smoking if you currently do. More