the facts: Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, the lower part
of your digestive system. People with an average risk of colon
cancer can consider screening beginning at age 50, every 5-10
years. People with an increased risk, such as those with a
family history of colon cancer, should consider screening
sooner. Several screening options exist — each with its own
benefits and drawbacks. Talk to your Primary Care doctor about
which tests are appropriate for you.
Early detection by screening tests is important because
colorectal cancer is often found after symptoms appear. Most
people with an early stage of colon cancer have no symptoms of
the disease. Symptoms usually appear only with more advanced
Lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk
Take steps to reduce your risk of colon cancer by making
changes in your everyday life.
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole
grains. These contain
vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which may play a
role in cancer prevention.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol
you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and two
- Stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about
ways to quit.
- Exercise most days of the week. Try to
get 30 minutes of exercise at least three days a week. If
necessary, start slowly and build up gradually to 30
minutes. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight. A healthy
diet with daily exercise will help you maintain a good
weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about
safe ways to achieve your goal. Aim to lose weight slowly by
increasing the amount of exercise you get and reducing the
number of calories you eat.
For more information visit www.uhs.net.