Ways to Prevent Colon Polyps and Cancer
Colon Cancer is the most common type of cancer and most preventable form if the Precancerous Polyps are detected early. But, like other types of cancers, if Colon Cancer is not diagnosed in its advanced stages then it can become life-threatening for the patient. Colon Cancer is the second most leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Colon Cancer is also called as colorectal cancer, a term which describes the presence of cancer in colon and rectum. In this condition of Colon Cancer, the growth occurs in the lining of colon or rectum and it becomes malignant. Fortunately, there is a screening procedure called as Colonoscopy that can be used to detect the Colon Cancer at an early stage. Moreover, this procedure is also used to remove precancerous Polyps. Some other screening methods for detecting Colon Cancer are flexible sigmoidoscopy and stool tests.
Certain lifestyle modifications and dietary changes help in preventing Colon Polyps and Cancer and the most important of these ways include:
Following are some of the important changes that you can make in your diet to prevent the disease:
Vegetables and fruits:
Those fruits and vegetables having red, orange, yellow and green color such as carrot, strawberries, oranges and peppers are rich in antioxidants that help in preventing Colon Cancer. The vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts contain high levels of cancer-fighting chemicals, so adding these in your diet along with unprocessed grains really help to prevent the disease.
According to a study conducted in 1999 and 2011, folic acid proved to be protective of the people especially those who were received more than 400 micrograms per day through food or multivitamins and began taking it before the formation of Colon Polyps. Folic acid is also beneficial in preventing Colon Cancer.
Meats and saturated fats:
Meat contains saturated fats that are broken down by our body’s digestive juices and bile during the digestion process. It has been observed that some of the by-products of this breakdown process cause cancer in laboratory animals. Some studies have also proved that meat-rich diets can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and even Colon Cancer. Make sure to make your diet with reduced meat and saturated fats. Carefully read the labels of the product that what amount of saturated fat, it contains.
Following are some of the important lifestyle modifications that you can make to prevent the Colon Polyps and Cancer:
Apart from damaging the heart and lungs, smoking can also increase the risk of developing Colon Polyps/Cancer. You can reduce the risk by quitting smoking.
According to Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, a gastroenterologist at ColumbiaDoctors Eastside in NYC, those individuals who are physically fit have 25% lower the risk of Colorectal Cancer as compared to those individuals who have a sedentary lifestyle (no or little physical activity). So, it is recommended to start an exercise regime on regular basis to keep fit, healthy and prevent the condition.
The daily dosage of aspirin and other NSAIDs:
Taking a low dose of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce the risk of developing Colon Cancer. But, these should be taken as per prescription of the doctor because aspirin can cause other medical problems.
Some other points to consider:
The symptoms of Colon Polyps and Cancer include a change in bowel movements, discomfort while having a bowel movement, frequent gas, cramping in lower abdomen, bright red, black or very dark colored blood in stool, constant fatigue and frequent weight loss. So, if you constantly experience any of these symptoms for more than few days then immediately consult the physician.
You should know about the factors that increase the risk of developing Colon Cancer. The risk factors for Colon Cancer include:
- Have a history of Colon Cancer or precancerous Polyps and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Family history of one or more parents, siblings or children with Colon Cancer or precancerous Polyps
- Family history of having multiple cancers such as breast cancer, ovary cancer, uterus cancer and cancer of other body organs
You can prevent Colon Polyps and Colon Cancer by considering the most important preventive measures that include screening tests, regular-checkups, adopting healthy diet and lifestyle changes and a prompt investigation of Colon Cancer signs and symptoms.