Colon Cancer Prevention

  • Medical Author:
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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Quick GuideColorectal Cancer (Colon Cancer): Symptoms, Signs, Screening, Stages, and Treatment Options

Colorectal Cancer (Colon Cancer): Symptoms, Signs, Screening, Stages, and Treatment Options

What can be done now to prevent colorectal cancer?

  1. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and red meat. (This diet also is good for cardio-vascular health.)
  2. Take oral calcium supplements and one multivitamin a day that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid. (Calcium supplements also are necessary for maintaining the strength of bones, and folic acid may be good for cardio-vascular health.)
  3. Lose excess weight, exercise regularly, and stop smoking cigarettes. (This also is good for cardio-vascular health.)
  4. Undergo screening tests for colorectal polyps and cancer. (Note that a new test, Cologuard has been developed and approved by the FDA for home use.)
  5. If one has family members with numerous colon polyps, early onset of colon cancers or other cancers such as uterine, stomach, thyroid, and ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor about genetic counseling and testing.

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology

REFERENCES:

American Cancer Society. Can colotectal cancer be prevented?

CDC.gov. Colorectal (Colon) Cancer: What Are the Risk Factors?

FDA. FDA approves first non-invasive DNA screening test for colorectal cancer.

UpToDate. Patient information: Colon and rectal cancer screening (Beyond the Basics).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/23/2016

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