Prevention Tips

  1. If you're 50 years or older, talk to your provider about scheduling a colonoscopy or other colon screening. Screening can detect polyps and changes that can be treated before symptoms develop. Early detection of colon cancer is key to successful treatment. Screening may begin earlier based on your risk factors.

  3. Eat a balanced diet. In most situations, your provider will suggest a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. However, in some cases, high-fiber is not the best choice.

  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity, defined as having a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or more, has been shown to increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

  5. Maintain an active lifestyle. Research indicates that exercising can decrease the risk of colon cancer. Exercise also tends to reduce the incidence of other risk factors for colon cancer, such as obesity.

  6. Learn your family medical history, and share it with your provider. A family history of colon disease can impact your risk of developing colon disease.

  7. Talk to your provider about your personal medical history. A history of polyps, certain cancers, and chronic inflammation of the bowel can increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

  8. Don't smoke. Smoking can increase your risk for colon disease.

  9. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. According to the National Institutes of Health, moderate drinking is one drink a day for women or anyone over 65, and two drinks a day for men under 65.