March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Dr. Frederick Fallick
March 01, 2019
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To promote good colon health, here are some things you can do – and some things you should avoid.
The connection between diet and developing or preventing colon cancer is one of the strongest links for any form of cancer. Eating a lot of red and processed meats as well as meats cooked at very high temperatures can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. While a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce the risk.
Calcium has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The equivalent of three to four glasses of low-fat or skim milk a day (approximately 1,200 milligrams) can be beneficial. Milk is also a good source of vitamin D, another nutrient that is recommended.
It is also important to get regular exercise and to maintain a healthy weight. And obviously any kind of exercise program should be started under the direction of a physician. Abstaining from smoking and heavy alcohol use are also important to decrease the risk of colon cancer.
But one of the most important things you can do to maintain good colon health is to get an annual screening. For both men and women, screenings should begin at age 45 – earlier if there is a history of colon cancer in the family. Early screening will catch colon cancer at its most treatable stages.
With colon cancer being the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined, Colon Cancer Awareness Month, which begins today, is a good opportunity to talk to your doctor and arrange a screening. It might also help to know that some forms of screening can also be done in the privacy of your own home. So don’t let embarrassment prevent you from taking this important, and potentially life-saving step, this month.
Learn how a team of experts at the White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care helped Ryan beat colorectal cancer and become a survivor.
Dr. Frederick Fallick specializes in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Scarsdale Medical Group.