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Colorectal Cancer: Reduce Your Risk

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: Kirby Medical Center

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Minimizing Your Risk of Developing Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer affecting American men and women over the age of 50. Although there is no sure-fire way to completely eliminate your risk of developing this chronic health condition, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your risk.

In light of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the health experts at are here to share some healthy lifestyle choices that can help to reduce your risk.

Who’s At a Higher Risk for Colon Cancer?

Age is the most prevalent risk factor when it comes to colorectal cancer, with 90% of new cases affecting people over the age of 50. Other factors that leave people at an increased risk of developing this form of cancer include:

  • A family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Having had colorectal cancer before.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating a diet full of processed meats and fats.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking and using tobacco products.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk

Lead an Active Lifestyle

Getting regular physical activity not only helps you to control your weight, but it also reduces your risk of developing polyps that can turn into colorectal cancer down the line. This is because limiting your time sitting, laying down, and other sedentary behaviors also helps to reduce your risk.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Like many areas of your health, your diet affects your colorectal health as well. According to the CDC, eating a diet that is low in animal fats and high in fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce your risk of developing this chronic condition.

Get Screened Regularly

According to the American Cancer Society, people of average risk over the age of 45 should start getting screened regularly for colon cancer. This is because early detection is key with this form of cancer. Once abnormal cells grow into polyps, it takes about 10-15 years for them to become cancerous, giving doctors the opportunity to address the polyps earlier on.

If you have one or more of the factors above that leave you at an increased risk, you should speak with your primary care doctor about when you should start screening.

Colonoscopy Services in Monticello

At Kirby Medical Center, we offer a full range of diagnostic services, and we’ll help you to prepare for your procedure. Our goal is to put you at ease and to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Visit /services/colonoscopy/ to lean more.