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What can I do to avoid rectal cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Some risk factors for rectal cancer, such as inherited conditions, you cannot avoid. However, by eating healthy foods and staying in shape, you can reduce your risk. Getting screened regularly for rectal cancer will enable you doctor to catch the disease before it becomes serious. Discuss with your doctor how often you should have a colonoscopy.

Eating a nutritious diet is one tool to prevent rectal or colorectal cancer. Certain dietary intake, such as high fat consumption, may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer. On the other hand, foods that are high in antioxidants, including some types of fruits (berries), vegetables (green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and sweet peppers) and certain types of tea (green tea) may actually help prevent development of colorectal cancers. Getting regular checkups and following cancer screening guidelines, such as obtaining a colonoscopy upon reaching the age of 50, are of course recommended. Other steps for cancer risk reduction include being physically active and trying to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

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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.