It is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Are You at Risk?
Research has shown the following lifestyle choices may help prevent this dangerous cancer:
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Smoking cessation
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Increasing dietary fiber
- Limiting saturated fats
- Reducing red meat
- Increasing calcium and vitamin D intake
- Eating more foods with polyphenols, which are often found in fruits, vegetables and nuts
While taking steps to prevent colorectal cancer by making lifestyle and dietary changes can make a big difference, the most effective method of prevention is to receive appropriate colonoscopy screening.
“Colonoscopies are currently the most critical component in the fight again colorectal cancer for both women and men,” said Mary F. Mulcahy, MD, a Northwestern Medicine oncologist and member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “Regular screening exams allow doctors to identify and remove cancerous and precancerous polyps at early, treatable stages before they become a serious threat to someone’s life.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends regular screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50, however, screening may be recommended to begin earlier for patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about colorectal cancer can attend “Conversations About Colorectal Cancer,” a free educational event featuring Northwestern Medicine oncology experts hosted by the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The event will take place on Saturday, March 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Building’s Baldwin Auditorium located at 303 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611.
To speak with an expert at Northwestern Medicine about colorectal cancer or to schedule an appointment, call 877.926.4664 or visit our website.