How do you feel about our website?
Great   Indifferent

Who’s At Risk for Colon Cancer?

Early detection of colon cancer can mean earlier and potentially life-saving treatment. The key to early detection is to receive colon cancer screenings when recommended. 

The American Cancer Society recommends routine colon cancer screenings starting at age 45 for low-risk individuals, although your screening schedule may vary based on your personal health history and risk factors. 

Gastroenterologist Eric Ibegbu, MD offers colon cancer screenings here at Atlantic Medical Group

Below, we discuss the risk factors for colon cancer and what you can do if you’re at risk for developing colon cancer.

Know your risk factors

We know it’s not easy to think about colon cancer (or any type of cancer), but knowing your personal risk factors can help shape your screening schedule. Some risk factors are not within your control, which makes screening even more important. 

Risk factors that you can’t control include:

In addition to family and personal health history, there are also lifestyle factors within your control that can increase your risk of colon cancer. These include:

Although you can’t do anything to change your personal or family health history, you can take action to reduce your risk of colon cancer associated with lifestyle risk factors. 

Reducing your risk factors for colon cancer

In addition to receiving colonoscopies (or other screenings) when recommended, you can further support your colon health by eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber-rich foods, in particular, help keep your colon healthy. 

You can find fiber in apples, pears, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, oats, and almonds. Interestingly, studies show that coffee consumption supports your colon, too, and may even help those who already have colon cancer.

What you avoid in your diet is just as important as what you include. Limit your consumption of red meat, and if possible, avoid processed meat. Processed and cured meat include deli meat, hot dogs, and packaged meats. 

Instead of alcohol, choose GI-friendly drinks like water, coffee, kombucha, fennel tea, and peppermint tea. 

You can also reduce your risk for colon cancer by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Exercise helps reduce your risk of colon cancer by:

Don’t delay your colon cancer screening

Not all colon polyps turn into cancer, but approximately 66% of polyps are precancerous. Because colon polyps can develop into colon cancer, a screening helps Dr. Ibegbu detect polyps even before they cause problems. 

We offer several types of colon cancer screenings in our Kinston and Jacksonville, North Carolina offices. Four options include fecal occult blood test, fecal immunochemical test, colonoscopy, and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

To learn more about your colon screening options, don’t hesitate to contact us to book your appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Benefits of Non-surgical Weight Loss

Are you thinking about a nonsurgical weight loss procedure to help you reach your goals? Although weight loss is the No. 1 benefit, it’s not the only one. Read on to learn about seven benefits of nonsurgical weight loss.

3 Complications of Chronic Constipation

Nearly everyone experiences constipation at some point, but what happens when occasional constipation becomes chronic? Chronic constipation can cause complications. Read on to learn more.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore IBS

IBS not only causes painful symptoms, but it can also disrupt your daily routine. In this blog, we share five reasons you shouldn’t ignore IBS and why treatment can help you feel better and regain control over your life once again.

When You Should Consider Nonsurgical Weight Loss

If you’ve tried diet after diet without getting the results you want, you’re not out of options. While diet is crucial to keeping weight off, nonsurgical weight loss procedures can help you jumpstart your weight loss without invasive surgery.

Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be mild enough to ignore, but should you? Acid reflux is more than just discomfort. It can cause a host of unwanted complications. Read on to learn five reasons why you shouldn’t ignore acid reflux any longer.