From The National Cancer Institute
How can I prevent Colorectal Cancer?
Doctors can not always explain why one person gets
cancer and another does not. However, scientists have studied
general patterns of cancer in the population to learn what things
around us and what things we do in our lives may increase our chance
of developing cancer.
Anything that increases a personís chance of
developing a disease is called a risk factor. Prevention means
avoiding the risk factors that can be controlled so that the chance
of developing cancer decreases.
Colorectal Cancer Prevention
Although many risk factors can be avoided, it is important to keep
in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will
not get cancer. Also, most people with a particular risk factor for
cancer do not actually get the disease. Some people are more
sensitive than others to factors that can cause cancer. Talk to your
doctor about methods of preventing cancer that might be effective
Many risk factors that are modifiable, though not all can be
- Diet and Lifestyle: Diet appears to be associated with colorectal
cancer risk. Among populations that consume a diet high in fat,
protein, calories, alcohol, and meat (both red and white) and low in
calcium and folate, colorectal cancer is more likely to develop than
among populations that consume a low-fat, high-fiber diet. A diet
low in vitamin D may also increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
One study has found that a diet low in fat and high in fiber,
fruits, and vegetables does not reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
recurrence during a 3- to 4-year period. A diet high in saturated
fat combined with a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of
colorectal cancer. There is also evidence that smoking cigarettes
may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Some studies have shown that
the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be
associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
- Polyp Removal: The removal of polyps in the colon may be associated
with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
- Female Hormone Use: Postmenopausal female hormone use is associated
with a reduced risk of colon cancer but not rectal cancer.
Want to learn more about prevention?
Click here to visit the National Cancer Institute's web