Research studies consistently show that the dietary and lifestyle choices you make every day can have a significant impact on your risk of developing many diseases, including colon cancer. Your choices add up over time and can gradually shift your risk for colon cancer either toward the higher or lower end of the spectrum.
Research shows that by managing factors within your control, you can lower your risk of developing colon cancer; for example, by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly while at the same time reducing your intake of red meat, high-fat and fried foods.
In fact, the general consensus from scientific literature is that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by getting regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Diet and proper nutrition are critical aspects of the fight against colon cancer. In general, dietary recommendations include consuming less saturated fat and salt and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Here are some general guidelines that can help you lower your risk of developing colon cancer:
Consuming plenty of fresh, lightly-cooked and pesticide-free brightly colored fruits and vegetables
Eating fresh fish 1 to 3 times per week
Limiting consumption of red meat
Avoiding excess salt and saturated fats
Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active
Limiting alcohol consumption
Avoiding tobacco in any form
Regular exercise can significantly lower your risk of developing colon cancer.
According to two recently published studies, walking 30 minutes every day significantly reduced the risk of recurrence in patients who had recently been diagnosed with colon cancer. Higher levels of physical activity were seen to contribute to a lower risk of recurrence and mortality, when combined with standard therapies.
In one study, researchers found that patients diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer who walked for six or more hours per week had 50% lower rates of recurrences and death from the disease than inactive patients.
In another study, the same researchers observed 573 women with stages one to three colon cancer and reported that patients who increased their physical activity experienced a 50% reduction in mortality.
These and other studies strongly suggest that exercise has potentially life-saving benefits for cancer survivors, and may lower colon cancer risk in regular, healthy people as well.