Colon Cancer Prevention (cont.)

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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 8/14/2014

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Colon Cancer Prevention - Experience Question: Please share your experience with colon cancer prevention and screening.
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