Colon cancer develops when the cells lining the membrane of the colon undergo mutation and stop maturing and dying on their own. Instead, these cells divide and form clumps and these clumps can later develop into cancer of the colon. This process happens over a span of years and certain precautionary measures can help reduce the chances of the cancer developing. The measures include regular screening and stool tests. There are a few lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce the chances of developing colorectal cancer.
Lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of colon cancer
Colon cancer can be prevented by applying a two-pronged approach. One is via tests and screenings done regularly, especially for those who are at a higher risk. The other is by inculcating positive lifestyle changes into daily life.
Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet goes a long way in keeping all kinds of diseases and disorders at bay, including the risk of cancer. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage, reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by half in comparison to a diet devoid of these. A fiber-rich diet is especially recommended for reducing colorectal cancer risks. This is because it has been found that 10 grams of fiber reduces colon cancer risk by 10 percent. Red meat must be avoided as well as broiled, fried, and grilled meat cooked at high temperatures because it increases the chances of rectal cancers.
- Physical activity
A sedentary lifestyle is bad for overall health in general. Also, research has revealed that as compared to a physically active lifestyle, a sedentary life increases the chances of colorectal cancer by 25%. The physical activities can be included in routine daily chores, such as cleaning the house, exercises in on the chair, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and moving around while watching TV instead of sitting in one place.
- Taking NSAIDs daily
It has been found that having low doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, daily can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, but it must be followed upon consultation with the doctor.
- Quitting smoking
Smoking is mostly associated with health problems related to the lungs and heart. But smoking also increases the risk of developing colon cancer and can turn the cancer into becoming fatal as well. By quitting smoking, the risk of developing cancer reduces over time to that of the non-smoking population.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
Reports suggest that drinking alcohol increases the chances of colorectal cancer in men and probably in women as well. So, it is suggested that people drink alcohol in moderation if at all, with the recommended quantity being no more than two drinks of standard quantity for men and one drink for women.
- Consuming garlic
A diet rich in garlic has been shown to lower the risk of developing colon cancer and is thus recommended. The right way to cook garlic is to chop it up and then wait for 10 to 15 minutes. This is because the ingredients that promote good health get activated post-chopping in that time frame.