Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon and rectum – is the second leading cancer killer in the United States and all women and men aged 50 and older are at risk. The good news is that colorectal cancer is preventable and, if detected early, curable.
Depending upon your age and family history, you could be at risk for developing this disease. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, talk to your colorectal surgeon or other healthcare provider about getting screened for colorectal cancer (screening means getting tested for a disease even if you don’t have symptoms).
- Are you aged 50 or older?
- Has a parent, brother, sister or child of yours had colorectal cancer?
- Has a parent, brother, sister, or child of yours had colon polyps?
- Do you have a chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease?
Colorectal cancer screening can prevent colorectal cancer and healthy lifestyle choices can help. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer:
- Get screened regularly beginning at age 40.
- Exercise and maintain a normal body weight.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods.
- Avoid foods that are high in fat.
- Don’t smoke and drink alcohol only in moderation.