How Do I Reduce My Risk of Colorectal Cancer?

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Uncategorized

As we step into March, recognized as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a crucial time to focus on one of the most preventable yet still prevalent forms of cancer. At Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville, Cleveland, and Johnson City, TN, we’re committed to educating our community about the risks and prevention strategies for colorectal cancer.

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Understanding Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer originates in the colon or rectum and is often detectable in its early stages through regular screening. Despite its high treatability when caught early, it remains the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States.

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Several factors can increase your risk of colorectal cancer, including age (50 years and older), a family history of the disease, certain genetic syndromes, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, and lifestyle factors such as diet, obesity, and smoking.

Prevention Strategies

  1. Regular Screening: The most powerful tool in colorectal cancer prevention is regular screening, starting at age 45 or earlier if you have a family history of the disease. Screenings like colonoscopies can detect precancerous polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer.
  2. Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats can reduce your risk. Fiber plays a crucial role in digestive health, while antioxidants and other nutrients provide protective benefits.
  3. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity is shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week.
  4. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Work towards a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  5. Limit Alcohol and Quit Smoking: Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are linked to an increased risk. Limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking can have a significant impact on your overall cancer risk.
  6. Know Your Family History: If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to start screening earlier. Genetic testing can also be a valuable tool.

Community Involvement

During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage the community to participate in awareness events, educational sessions, and screenings. Remember, early detection saves lives, and your actions today can make a significant difference in your health tomorrow.

At Premier Surgical Associates, we’re dedicated to your health and well-being. Reducing your risk of colorectal cancer is a combined effort of regular screenings, a healthy lifestyle, and staying informed. Let’s use this month to spread awareness and take proactive steps towards a healthier future. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against colorectal cancer.

For more information about colon and rectal cancer and our Premier Surgeons who specialize in the treatment of it, please visit: