March was declared National Colorectal Awareness Month by President Clinton in February 2000. Since then, the month has become a rallying time for survivors and a way to educate the public about colorectal health. While there are some risk factors for colon cancer that are hereditary, there are many things you can do to minimize your risk. We’ve listed 5 ways to protect your colorectal health:
Colorectal screenings can detect any growths, or polyps, on the rectum and treat them before they have the chance to develop into cancer. These tests also detect cancer early for better treatment. Age 45 is the average recommended age from the American Cancer Society to start getting tested; however, some may want to go earlier, depending on their risk factors. Those who have had close relatives with colon cancer should go earlier.
Cut Down on Alcohol
While social in nature, alcohol is linked to several types of cancer. Limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for women, and 2 drinks for men at the most. At the end of a long day, try unwinding with a soothing cup of hot tea instead of an alcoholic drink. Cutting down on alcohol will also help keep you at a healthier weight.
Eat fruits and Vegetables
Mom was right: fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy body. Dietary habits have a larger influence on cancer risk than you may think. Diets full of vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains are linked to a decrease in cancer risk. Try to limit servings of red meat to about twice per week.
Take Your Vitamins
Getting enough calcium, vitamin D and folate all may reduce your risk. A regular multivitamin could help, too. The elderly, overweight, and those with darker skin tones are the most at risk for vitamin D deficiency.
Stay Physically Active
Exercise has numerous health benefits, including probable cancer prevention. There are at least 52 studies associating colorectal cancer and physical activity. Try to get at least 150 minutes per week. It can be simple — a brisk walk is perfect!
Seeing a doctor regularly and living a healthy lifestyle are simple ways to ensure your colon’s long term health. This month, what are some lifestyle changes you can make? Mission Search is a proud partner supporting many healthcare initiatives around the world including colorectal health. We help our partners in the healthcare industry by providing talent where it’s most needed. For more information, contact the team at Mission Search today.