Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, outside of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year.
Preventive screenings are important for improving the chances of successful treatment, especially if you have risk factors for colon cancer. Some risk factors – like your family history – are out of your control, but some risk factors can be addressed by lifestyle changes like these:
- Becoming more active. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’re at a greater risk of colon cancer. Even simple activities like walking can not only lower your risk but improve your health in other ways as well.
- Minimizing red meat intake. A diet high in red meats or processed meats has been linked to colon cancer. Considering limiting your intake or replacing it with heathier proteins like fish and chicken.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is linked to a number of health problems, including colon cancer. AvMed offers smoking cessation resources that can help you finally kick the habit.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard for cancer screening. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50 and continuing until age 75. People who are in good health and at a low risk should get a colonoscopy every 10 years; individuals at a higher risk may need more frequent screenings. Your doctor can help determine your risk and come up with an appropriate screening schedule.
To learn more about AvMed’s preventive services, click here.