Colon Cancer Prevention
While nothing guarantees that you don't develop cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and stay healthy.
Colorectal cancer can develop for a variety of reasons. Talk to your doctor about your risk.
The latest studies show links between reduced colorectal cancer risk and:
An HDL level of 60 mg/dl or higher has been shown to be best for heart health. And a study in the journal Gut found that levels of about 70.4 mg/dl also decreased the risk for colon cancer compared with levels below 45 mg/dl.
Taking drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen daily or weekly was linked to lower cancer risk, found a study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. People with an inherited form of the disease benefited the most.
Men and women who ate yogurt daily were less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who ate none, report findings in the International Journal of Cancer.
Women who say they pay no attention to their diet – eating anything at any time – are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t report this behavior.
Much more research is needed before these methods are widely recommended. Some are already known to be good for your heart, such as increasing good cholesterol and keeping your weight under control.
However, others have side effects. For instance, aspirin or ibuprofen can contribute to ulcers and stomach bleeding and this risk may outweigh the benefits, so talk with your doctor before making changes to your habits.
In the meantime, scientists do know that at least six of every 10 colon cancer deaths could be prevented if all adults ages 50 and older were screened for the disease. Most men and women should get periodic screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, beginning at age 50. Ask your doctor about the best screening test and schedule for you.
Use Memorial Hermann's Direct Access program through ScheduleNow to schedule your colonoscopy appointment online.