Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the third most common cancer after skin cancer in both men and women (lung cancer is the first) and is expected to kill over 50,000 Americans this year, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
McLaren Northern Michigan, in recognition of March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, is providing free educational information and tips to help with colon health.
Colorectal cancer is often preventable and curable.
Anyone age 50 or older or with a family history of colorectal cancer should be screened.
“Colorectal cancer often arises in a polyp. If a polyp is discovered by colonoscopy, the polyp could be removed before this becomes malignant,” stated Ervin Hire, MD, oncologist at the Karmanos Cancer Institute of McLaren Northern Michigan. “In addition, a colonoscopy might discover cancer that is in an early stage, which increases the possibility of cure. People should discuss colorectal cancer screening with their primary care provider.”
Colorectal cancer risk factors include a family history of the disease and lifestyle-related factors such as obesity, smoking, and a diet high in red meat.
Kathy Gowell-Hansen, Registered Dietician at the Karmanos Cancer Institute of McLaren Northern Michigan, has provided healthy diet tips to lower your risk of colorectal cancer:
• Eat a diet high in vegetables and fruit. Half your plates and grocery cart should be produce.
• Eat a diet high in fiber. Aim for 25-35mg a day.
• Get the recommended levels of vitamin D and Calcium
• Avoid processed meats (lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon).
• Cut back on red meats to no more than 18 ounces a week.
• Avoid excess alcohol intake.
For more info about colorectal cancer or to get free ACS booklet mailed to you, call (800) 248-6777. For more info about cancer and other health-related topics, visit northernhealth.org/cancer