Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 90,000 new cases of colon cancer and over 39,000 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States this year.

There are certain lifestyle factors that have been attributed to colon disease. Some of these include being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, smoking, heavy alcohol intake, and a diet high in processed foods.

Additionally, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, monitoring your lifestyle is even more important. Here are some tips on how you can maintain good colon health:

  • Cut down on processed foods
    An important step towards a healthier colon is eliminating foods that can contribute to problems. These include those that are high in refined sugar, white flour, artificial coloring, and preservatives. Replace these items with food high in fiber like oatmeal, lentils, and vegetables.Adding both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet helps in slowing down the emptying time of the stomach and bulking up the feces, helping it move faster through the intestines.
  • Stay hydrated
    Adequate hydration is important for keeping a healthy colon. By ensuring sufficient water intake on a daily basis, you can prevent buildup of toxins in the body which often contribute to bloating, gas, IBS, and constipation.
  • Move more!
    Doing at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week can help maintain a healthy weight (obesity is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer).
  • Don’t skip regular check-ups
    Like many types of cancer, colorectal cancer is best treated when it’s in the early stages. So, don’t wait for symptoms to appear before getting seen by your doctor.Most health screenings for colorectal cancer are recommended starting at the age of 50, but if you have a family history of the disease, you should speak with your doctor about screening earlier.

Premier Surgical of Knoxville is the Knoxville area’s largest general surgical group, offering expert care for different areas including bariatric, general, and surgical oncology surgeries.