Three Non-Dietary Methods for Preventing Bowel Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

Most advice concerning the prevention of bowel (colorectal) cancer is diet-related. For example, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) advises people to eat plenty of fiber, moderate their intake of red meat, and eat plenty of garlic. However, colon cancer prevention is not just about dietary management; there are other non-dietary measures you should take too. Here are three examples of such measures:

Live an Active Life

Prevailing evidence suggests that leading an active life protects against colon cancer. You don't have to register for all the marathons in your area; just fitting some activity in your daily routine helps. It may seem like a cliche, but simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the escalator, rope jumping, jogging, and doing push-ups can help. These are things that even people without gym access can do.

Consider Genetic Counseling and Testing

Some people are genetically predisposed to colon cancers. As a rule, it's advisable to get colorectal screening regularly beginning at age 50. However, early screening is advisable if the following factors apply to you:

  • You have a close relative who developed the disease before hitting age 50.
  • More than one of your family members have or had the disease.
  • Some members of your family have colon polyps (polyps are mass of tissues protruding from the bowel walls).

In this case, early screening is necessary because your risk of developing the disease is higher than other people's. Genetic counseling involves an evolution of your history to determine which tests are needed to ascertain your risk of developing cancer. Genetic testing actually tests for whether you have the cancerous cells. If you have polyps and a high risk of developing colon cancer, the polyps may be surgically removed as a preventive measure.

Stop Smoking

Lastly, if you are a smoker, you should give it up to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Smoking has been linked to many different types of cancers, not just colorectal cancer. This is because the tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that alter the body's DNA and causes your cell to lose their ability to repair themselves or regulate their growth. The earlier you quit, the earlier you will start reaping the benefits of being a nonsmoker.

In the unfortunate event that you have already developed bowel cancer, don't assume that you are automatically doomed. Cancer research is progressing by the day, and new treatment techniques and drugs are being developed. Consult an oncologist like those at Southwest Oncology Centers to advise you on which treatments methods are available today.


15 November 2016