Predicting when or if colon cancer will develop is not possible, but predicting due to high risk factors can save lives. Early detection through screening can prevent cancer and keep it at a treatable stage.

General Causes

 While many different factors can lead to colon cancer, the exact cause is unknown. Being aware of the factors and whether or not you are at a higher risk can help save your life.

Age

All though the majority of colon cancer cases are  found in people aged 45 and up, there is an increase in colorectal cancer cases in those under 45. The risk is higher as you age. Screening starts at age 50 and continues for the next 25 years.

Overweigh

 Years of obesity can also increase your chances of developing colon cancer.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

 If you have ever had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, these diseases can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer.

Type II Diabetes

 Not only can diabetes increase your risk for colon cancer it can also have an effect on your prognosis.

 Lifestyle

 The way you live can also increase your chances of developing colon cancer.

Diet

Overeating, carrying extra weight and the types of foods you eat can contribute not only to poor health but to colon and other types of cancers. Not only the food but also the way they are prepared.

Avoid red meat and any types of processed meats, like deli meat, hot dogs, and all types of red meat. Avoid eating burnt meat or other foods and try to avoid grilling, frying, and broiling meats.

Try to increase fresh fruits and vegetables, more plant-based foods, and avoid dairy, all processed foods, and sweets.

Smoking and Drinking

Cigarettes are one of the worst things you can do to damage your health. Combine it with excessive drinking, you increase your health risks and your cancer risks.

Exercise

Try to stay active, even walking in the evening or to work, taking the stairs or some type of stationary exercise equipment in the home can help with your overall health and keep cancer risks lowered.

Even for those with mobility concerns, you can find exercises you can do online or from books and magazines.

Genetics

The same way we can inherit a strong chin or a good head of hair, we can also inherit bad genes. If there has been colorectal cancer in your family, then your doctor will likely recommend you get screened earlier.

Inherited syndromes can also be a factor that increases your chances of developing colon cancer. The two most common are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).

Your ethnic background can also be a factor. African Americans have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States. Ashkenazi Jews also have a higher risk of developing the disease.

If you have no other risks, yet are in one of those ethnic groups you should consider getting a screening earlier than the normal recommendation.

Prevention

Taking care of your health is important, in particular, as we age. Taking plenty of exercise doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon. It just means getting off the couch or out of your desk chair regularly.

Try walking to work or part of the way home, if possible. Take the stairs when possible and invest in a bike, either stationary or mobile.

Our diets are one of the biggest ways we can prevent disease and poor health. It is all tied together, our diets, the amount we eat, what we eat, plus the impact on our bodies and the environment.

Eating a diet high in fiber, low in fat and avoiding meat can increase your health, your life expectancy and give you much more energy and a more enjoyable lifestyle.

Try to avoid stress. It is not always easy and some stresses in our lives are unavoidable, but avoid the ones you can and find other ways of coping with stress other than turning to carbs, smoking, and alcohol.

Relaxing with yoga, a warm bath before bed, and turning off all your devices can make a big difference. Getting a good night’s sleep can help start your day and it plays a big part in our overall health.

Consider a walk after a big meal, to help move it through your body. Even a walk after a stressful day at work can drop your stress and blood pressure considerably.

Worrying about family, money, your job is going to happen, to try to avoid stressing about things you have no control over. Turn off the news and your social media before you go to bed.

Try reading, relaxing, stretching, and listening to soft music with low lighting. Don’t overeat, stop smoking, eat more fiber, and take care of yourself. Colon cancer can be detected early, but there is no reason you should encourage it along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay healthy and keep your lifestyle and fitness goals. However, maintaining a healthy diet and staying active is a key component to helping fight early age onset colon cancer. Find a way to balance the holiday season with your loved ones and also keeping your health a priority with these simple tips.

 

Eat mindfully

While it can be easy to get carried away with holiday eating, make sure to balance your plate with whole foods, fruits and vegetables. A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables are linked to decreasing your risk of early age onset colorectal cancer and shouldn’t full off of your plate during the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself with a few sweets, but make sure to balance the rest of your meal.

 

Stay hydrated

The holiday season often brings copious amounts of alcohol. Try limiting yourself to only having a glass or two a night. Alcohol has links to colon and rectal cancer, so make sure to drink in moderation. Make sure to up your water content, too.

 

Stay connected through activities

Consider adding a new family tradition by incorporating activities that get you on your feet. After dinner, go for a walk around your neighborhood with your family or add a few exercises to your evenings while you watch TV together. Find small ways to get moving together while enjoying each other’s company.

 

While you’re focusing on your health this holiday season, also consider giving the gift of life by donating to the Colon Cancer Foundation. Donate today to support colon cancer patients, survivors and the research that helps us understand more about this deadly disease.

 

You may have heard that the American Cancer Society recently reduced its screening guidelines for colorectal cancer to 45-years-old. What does that mean and why were the screening guidelines reduced from 50-years-old? Learn more about what early age onset colorectal cancer is and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

 

Why were the colorectal screening guidelines reduced?

The American Cancer Society recently reduced the standard screening age for those at average risk of colorectal cancer for multiple reasons. The first, and possibly most important, is the increase of diagnoses at younger ages. Early age onset colorectal cancer occurs when people who are under 50-years-old develop colon cancer. While diagnoses over the age of 50-years-old and above are decreasing, those under 50-years-old are seeing higher rates of the disease. Reducing the screening age is one way to ensure that those diagnosed with early age onset colon cancer have a better chance of fighting the disease.

 

What can I do to prevent early age onset colorectal cancer?

Aside from regular screenings starting at 45-years-old, there are multiple ways that you can lower your risk for early age onset colorectal cancer. First, you can eat healthily and stay at a healthy weight. Avoid process meats and sugar, while adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the first steps to making sure you stay healthy as you age. Second, learn about your family history. If anyone has had colorectal cancer in your family, you may be more prone to developing the disease. Additionally, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Finally, pay attention to early symptoms.[1] If you notice changes in your bowel movements or increase in fatigue, talk to your physician about the symptoms.

 

If you think you may be at risk for early age onset colorectal cancer, reach out to your family physician. Early detection is key in survival rates for colorectal cancer, so make sure to take your symptoms seriously and stay on top of your health.

Learn more about colorectal cancer and stay up-to-date by reading our blog.

Colorectal cancer, commonly known as colon cancer, is one of the world’s deadliest cancers. However, there is a lot of confusion about the disease. Know the facts about colorectal cancer and what puts you at risk.

 

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer occurs where there are abnormal cells that divide and survive within your color or the rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer often starts as a noncancerous growth, called a polyp. The most common type is an adenomatous polyp, also known as an adenoma. While one-third of people can expect to develop at least one adenoma, only 10 percent are estimated to turn into cancer. The chance that the adenoma becomes cancerous increases as it gets bigger.

 

How likely am I to get colorectal cancer?

In 2019, there will be around 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer. Right now, your lifetime odds of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women. However, there are various other factors that will affect your likeliness to develop the disease. The American Cancer Society predicts that there are over one million colorectal cancer survivors today.

 

Why are men more likely to get colorectal cancer than women?

Colorectal cancer is 30 percent more likely to occur in men than women. Risk factors, such as likeliness to smoke cigarettes and hormones, play a large role in making cancer more prominent in men. According to studies from the American Cancer Society, the median age for colon cancer diagnoses in men is 68-years-old and for women is 72-years-old. The median age for colon cancer diagnoses for both men and women is 63-years-old.

 

What is the survival rate for colorectal cancer?

Luckily, deaths related to colorectal cancer are decreasing due to earlier screening and advanced technology. According to the American Cancer Society, the relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is at 65 percent at five years after diagnoses and 58 percent at 10 years after diagnoses. One way to increase your chance of fighting this deadly disease is to follow the screening guidelines and pay attention to early warning signs of colorectal cancer.[1]

Learn more about colorectal cancer through our other blogs and get involved with the Colon Cancer Foundation to help us support colorectal cancer survivors and their families.

 

When it comes to protecting yourself against the second deadliest cancer, consider looking at your diet as a starting point. Colorectal cancer, which is the cancer of the large intestine, is expected to cause over 51,000 deaths during 2019. While early detection is a key component, consider talking to your doctor about these top colon cancer-fighting foods as well.

Top Colon Cancer Fighting Foods #1: Lean Meats
While heavily processed meats are not ideal for a colon cancer-fighting diet, lean meats–packed with protein–will help you stay healthy. Protein helps your cells repair themselves and also keep you full. Good sources of lean protein include salmon, turkey and pork chops. Make sure to trim the fats off of your meat, though.

Top Colon Cancer Fighting Foods #2: Dark Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens are a great source of fiber, which can help you fight most cancer. Spinach may also help keep your colon polyp-free due to its high amount of magnesium. Not a fan like Popeye the Sailor? You can also get magnesium from almonds, cashews or potatoes.

Top Colon Cancer Fighting Foods #3: Low-Sugar Fruit
Sugar often leads to inflammation, which may increase your odds of developing colorectal cancer. If you have a sweet tooth, switch out some of your high-sugar snacks for fruit instead. Low-sugar fruits include peaches, melons, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit. Pack some fruit in your bag to keep you snacking on colon-friendly foods all day.

Top Colon Cancer Fighting Foods #4: Greek Yogurt
Minimally processed dairy, such as Greek yogurt, contain great sources of calcium and protein. The probiotics in Greek yogurt also pack a great punch for keeping your digestive system healthy. Probiotics help you balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut. Mix your yogurt together with low-sugar fruit in the morning to keep your colon cancer-fighting diet on track.

Top Colon Cancer Fighting Foods #6: Water
Last, but not least: water. Make sure to stay hydrated when you consume the top colon cancer-fighting foods. Water helps aid digestion and can minimize common colorectal cancer side effects, such as constipation.

While the death rate of colorectal cancer is steadily decreasing due to public awareness, we still have a long way to go regarding the fight to eradicate the disease. Join the Colon Cancer Foundation at our 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge to get involved and show your support for the colorectal cancer community, including the one million survivors of colorectal cancer.