How do you prevent colon cancer?


Quick Answer

Healthy lifestyle habits and regular colorectal cancer screenings can help prevent the development of colon cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Maintaining a healthy weight, alcohol use moderation and not smoking tobacco are also preventative measures against colon cancer.

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Full Answer

Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber can reduce a person's risk of colon cancer. Every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily contributes to a reduction of colorectal cancer risk by 10 percent, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research. Moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day can help maintain a healthy weight. Getting enough vitamin D and calcium, about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day and 1,000 international units of vitamin D per day, helps protect against colon cancer, the Siteman Cancer Center adds.

People with a high risk of developing colon cancer can take medications, such as aspirin, to reduce the risk of precancerous polyps. Drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celecoxib, may reduce the risk of developing precancerous polyps, but these drugs can cause heart problems, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgery can prevent colon cancer if the patient has rare, inherited syndromes that warrant the removal of the entire colon and rectum.

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