REGINA STANLEY: Taking steps to prevent colorectal cancer | Health
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 52,580 people will die from colorectal cancer in 2022. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States.
Assessing risks and prioritizing prevention
Here are some risk factors associated with colorectal cancer and some recommendations on how to reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Lack of exercise—Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. It is recommended that adults set a goal of 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75-150 minutes of intense exercise per week. In addition to lowering your risk of developing cancer, regular exercise helps prevent other major diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and also has mental health benefits.
Diet—A diet high in red meats (beef, pork, and lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs, packaged deli meats, beef jerky) increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Reducing the intake of red meats and processed meats can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer and improve digestion.
Obesity – Being overweight is linked to an increased likelihood of developing certain cancers, including colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, people who are obese are about 30% more likely to develop colorectal cancer than people who are normal weight. While obesity increases the risk for both men and women, the link seems stronger in men.