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What Are the Most Common Avoidable Colon Cancer Risk Factors?

Daniel Marcus';

By Daniel Marcus

Posted on May 8th, 2021 in News, Myths & Tips

As the third most common malignant disease occurring in both men and women in the United States, colon cancer is diagnosed in nearly 150,000 people throughout the country every year.

While there are certain risk factors for this malignant disease that is beyond your control, such as race, age, inherited syndromes, and a family history of cancer, the good news is that the majority of risk factors are avoidable.

Like the majority of malignant diseases, the exact cause of colon cancer is unknown at the moment, but medical researchers discovered that it develops when mutations in the DNA of healthy cells begin to occur.

Nevertheless, you can significantly lower your chances of coming to struggle with colon cancer by avoiding the following risk factors.

1. Diet

A typical Western diet is a major risk factor for colon cancer. It is usually rich in red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb and low in fiber and fat. The diet that places you at high risk for colon cancer also entails processed foods, as well as frying, broiling, and grilling your meat.

Because these cooking processes involve high temperatures, they will make your food high in chemicals that increase your risk of colon cancer. To avoid this risk factor, you should eat a healthy diet rich in leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meat such as fish, seafood, turkey, and poultry.

2. Sedentarism

A sedentary lifestyle refers to not engaging in physical activity as often as it is recommended. Unfortunately, due to the hectic daily life, we are caught up in, we tend to forget to take proper care of our bodies, which is another factor that increases the risk of developing colon cancer.

Numerous people have jobs that entail sitting on a chair behind their desk for at least 8 hours a day, which leaves them with little time to exercise. However, with a little time management, you can include working out in your everyday routine and, contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go to the gym for this. Instead, you can go for long walks, hike, swim, practice yoga, or jog.

3. Obesity

There are over 70 million obese adults in the US, which is very unnerving, to say the least. Some of the main causes of obesity are overeating, physical inactivity, a diet high in simple carbohydrates, taking certain medications, and psychological factors.

Nonetheless, with the right meal planning and with a rigorous exercise plan, you can lose the extra pounds gradually and safely, which will considerably lower your likelihood of coming to struggle with colon cancer, as well as with other serious health complications.

4. Smoking

Tobacco smoking increases your risk of developing colon cancer by at least 20%, which should be enough to make you think about quitting if you are a smoker. Unfortunately, colon cancer is one of the overwhelmingly numerous diseases smoking can result in over the years. However, it is completely understandable why so many people continue smoking even if they are well aware of the health risk of this habit.

Nicotine is a very addictive substance and, in the absence of it, smokers may experience bothersome withdrawal symptoms. On the bright side, there are many ways you can quit smoking, such as nicotine replacement therapy, which comes in the form of patches that are applied to the skin, nicotine gum, or lozenges.

5. Alcohol

People who drink 3 and a half alcoholic beverages per day have a 50% higher risk of developing colon cancer than individuals who are not heavy drinkers. For this reason, you may want to limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day if you are a woman and 2 drinks a day if you are a man.

However, medical studies found that even people who drink in moderation have a 1.2 to 1.5 times higher risk of developing colon cancer than those who do not drink alcohol at all. Thereby, you may want to avoid drinking altogether, particularly if you have other risk factors connected to colon cancer that you cannot control.

Even though the life expectancy for colon cancer is relatively good if the disease is found in the early stages, you should keep a close eye on your health and strive to have a positive lifestyle that will not increase your chances of developing this serious disease.

By the end of the year, over 52,000 people in the country will have lost their lives to colon cancer.