September 30, 2020

How to Help Reduce Your Risk for Colon Cancer

Did you know that colon cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis for men and women? Here we’ll outline some steps you can take to improve your overall health and reduce your risk for colon cancer.

Take Action by Incorporating These Prevention Tactics into Your Life

• Maintain a healthy body weight. Try to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
• Eat a healthy diet. Try to maintain a diet that’s rich in lean meats and fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low in saturated fats and red meat.
• Drink little to no alcohol. This means no more than one drink a day for women and two a day for men.
• Stop smoking. Ask your doctor about what you can do to make it easier for you to quit.
• Get screened for other cancers. Based on your age, gender, and risk level, your doctor will tell you what cancer screening tests would be best for you. If you’d like to learn more about your risks for colon cancer, take a Health Risk Assessment today.
• Ask your doctor about other tests. Getting other recommended health care for your age and gender, such as blood pressure screening, hepatitis C screening, and immunizations is beneficial for your overall health.

Stay Up to Date on Screenings

Make sure to make early detection a priority by getting a colonoscopy screening starting at age 45; if you have any of the risk factors below, start at age 40. Continue screenings every 10 years, or sooner depending on your results.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for colon cancer that you might not be aware of, including:

• Family history of colon cancer or adenomatous polyps
• Obesity
• Physical inactivity
• Diet high in red meat and processed meats
• Cooking meats at high temperatures
• Low Vitamin D levels
• Smoking
• Heavy alcohol use
• Age >50
• History of colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
• Being of African American or Ashkenazi Jewish descent
• Having Type 2 diabetes


Identify Your Risk Factors

The risk of colorectal cancer increases dramatically with age. Take our colorectal cancer risk assessment to estimate your personal risk of developing colon and rectal cancer.

Take a Health Risk Assessment 

More Questions About Colon Cancer?

Schedule an appointment with a Baptist Health provider to learn what screenings are right for you.

Learn More.