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Colon Cancer Prevention

03-14-2016

Colorectal cancer isdiagnosed in more than 130,000 men and women each year in the U.S. but when diagnosed early, survival rates are very good.

Finding colon cancer early is the key to beating it, says gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Gentry of Bozeman Health GI Clinic. With early detection through screenings; surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy can be effective treatments. That’s why Gentry recommends regular colon cancer screenings, including a yearly test that checks for invisible blood in the stool, or a colonoscopy. This exam allows your doctor to look inside the colon via a thin scope to see if polyps have formed, which then can be removed and tested for cancer. Most patients should have a colonoscopy every ten years beginning at age 50, unless they are at a higher risk for colon cancer.

Prevention

Take steps to dramatically lower your odds of getting the disease. Eat a nutritious diet, exercise, and control your body fat. Those habits prevent 45% of colorectal cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, light on processed and red meat, and with whole grains instead of refined grains.

Stay Active

Adults who stay active seem to have a powerful weapon against colorectal cancer. In one study, the most active people were 24% less likely to have the disease than the least active. It didn't matter whether what they did was work or play. The American Cancer Society recommends exercising 5 or more days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Vigorous exercise gives you even more benefits in less time -- 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week.

Categories: Deaconess