Simple diet changes may reduce risk of colon cancer
Can changing your diet reduce your risk of colorectal cancer?
Dr. Scott Strong, surgical director of Northwestern Medicine’s Digestive Health Center, said it certainly can’t hurt.
Some simple changes such as increasing your fiber intake and reducing your consumption of red meat might reduce your risk factor.
“We know without question that obesity is a risk factor for colon cancer,” Strong said.
Eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting processed meat can also decrease risk, he said. As can increasing calcium, folic acid and vitamin D.
Colorectal cancer includes cancer of the colon and rectum, and is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And one in seven colorectal patients was younger than 50 years old, a January study in the journal Cancer showed.
“A large percent of the population still doesn’t undergo their screening colonoscopy, even though they’ve been told that they should have it done,” Strong said.
Early screening is encouraged. Early detection can greatly influence how effectively cancer can be treated or even prevented.
“What we’re trying to do is find the cancer at an early stage, where it’s more curable,” Strong said. “Not only are we looking for cancer, we’re preventing cancer.”