There are many factors that can affect your risk of getting cancer – and colorectal cancer is no exception. Some risk factors you can change and some are out of your control.

Colon cancer is extremely preventable. That’s why we stress to our patients the importance of a colonoscopy. And that’s why we stress to our patients the importance of being evaluated, should you have symptoms such as rectal bleeding, weight loss, or change in your bowel habits. With a colonoscopy, we’re able to look at the lining of a colon, find these polyps, these pre-malignant lesions, and remove them, and prevent colon cancer.

Daniel Leberer, MD

Colon and Rectal Surgeon, Catholic Health

When it comes to colorectal cancer, these are some of the risk factors you can do something about:

  • What you eat and drink
  • How much you weigh
  • How physically active you are
  • Whether you smoke

One of the best ways to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer is to make healthy lifestyle changes. Of course, losing weight, getting more exercise and quitting smoking will help lower your colorectal cancer risk – and will provide you with a host of other health benefits as well. Making a few changes to your diet can also have an impact on your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Diet Factors That Can Lower Risk for Colon Cancer

  • Red and processed meats – Reduce the amount of beef, pork, lamb, hot dogs and luncheon meats you eat.
  • Fruits and vegetables – Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Whole grains – Eat more whole grains to increase your fiber intake, which can lower your risk. Fiber supplements have not been shown to help.
  • Calcium / Vitamin D – Get the recommended levels of these nutrients, which may help protect against colorectal cancer.
  • Alcohol – Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for men or 1 drink a day for women.

If you’re concerned about a family history of colorectal cancer or have been instructed by your primary to schedule a colonoscopy screening, give us a call to find a gastroenterologist near you that can help.

Find an Gastroenterologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Find a Gastroenterologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112