March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
In the United states Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer yet is the most preventable with a 90% cure rate if detected early. New evidence shows that individuals are developing colon cancer at a younger age so first screening for cancer are recommended at age 45 years (Patel et al. 2022). This is because the Incidence of CRC in 45- to 49-year-olds is similar to the incidence observed in 50-year-olds in 1992 when CRC screening was first recommended for those ages 50 and older. Screening is not recommended after age 85 years.
Getting screened for cancer by scheduling a colonoscopy, can decrease the risk of dying from colon cancer and helps removes suspicious bumps (polyps) which could turn cancerous. The problem with colon cancer is that it can have no symptoms at first. To help keep colons healthy and help prevent colon cancer here are some diet and lifestyle tips
- Get 2.5 cups of fruit a day
- Get 3 cups of veggies a day ( including dark leafy greens)
- Vary your fruit and veggies variety to 30 different kinds a week!
- Eat whole grains and legumes, nuts and seeds for more healthy fiber
- Get 25-35 grams of fiber a day!
- Drink plenty of water (8C a day)
- Enjoy prebiotic foods- kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut
- Get probiotics (live bacteria) from food- Greek yogurt, kefir
- Limit red and processed meats
- Limit sugar sweetened beverages
- Limit highly processes and refined grain products.
Note: The diet guidelines should not take the place of your dietitian or physician’s dietary advice for your specific medical conditions.
- Exercise every day! (walk, bike, yoga, workout).
- Get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Getting to or exceeding the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal (American Cancer Society Guidelines 2023).
- Quit smoking
- Minimize alcohol or delete alcohol.
- The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. A single drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor).
American Cancer Society., (2023, March 1). American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/acs-guidelines-nutrition-physical-activity-cancer-prevention/guidelines.html
Patel SG, May FP, Anderson JC, Burke CA, Dominitz JA, Gross SA, Jacobson BC, Shaukat A, Robertson DJ. (2022). Updates on Age to Start and Stop Colorectal Cancer Screening: Recommendations From the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastroenterology. 2022 Jan;162(1):285-299. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.10.007