For several years, health guidelines recommended colonoscopies be performed at the age of 50, however, as colon cancer rates increase in young people, the guidelines have changed to help diagnose the disease early.
New health guidelines urge a first colonoscopy at the age of 45 years, at least, to help catch these cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable.
Whatever age you are currently, there are 5 other steps, besides endoscopy, you can take to avoid colon cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States:
1. Eat vegetables and healthy fats:
“Research has shown that the Western diet is associated with a higher incidence of colon cancer,” says Salwa Buckley Dirksen, an internal medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Owatonna, Minnesota. People who eat high-fiber diets are less likely to get sick. ”She also recommends limiting the amount of meat you eat, especially processed meat.
Dr. Bikali Dirksen stresses the importance of eating the healthy fats found in olive oil, omega-3-rich salmon, avocados and nuts, as well as limiting the less processed fats found in fried foods.
Exercise is known to benefit the heart and can help you maintain a healthy weight. It may also reduce the risk of some types of cancer, including colon cancer.
In order to achieve this benefit, you can do 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
3. Watch your weight:
According to the American Cancer Society, carrying excess weight increases the risk of colon cancer, as well as cancers of the breast (in postmenopausal women), rectum, esophagus, pancreas, and kidneys, among others.
4. Limit alcohol and non-smoking:
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. This means no more than one drink a day for women, or no more than two drinks a day for men. And if you smoke, stop it immediately. A health care provider in the area you live can provide better advice to help you stop smoking.
5. Follow the inspection instructions:
One of the most important cancer prevention strategies is to follow colon cancer screening guidelines that are appropriate for each individual based on age, risk factors and family history.
A colonoscopy is more than just a screening tool. It can actually prevent cancer by detecting precancerous changes, called polyps, and removing them before they develop into cancer.