Reducing your risk of colon cancer
Colorectal cancer is the term used to describe cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is more common in people over 50. Since symptoms are often not noticeable in the early stages, efforts to promote advanced screening have been made in recent years. This effort has been successful, and the American Cancer Society reports that between 2013 and 2017, incidence rates of colorectal cancer dropped about 1% each year. Early detection also has meant an improved survival rate. March has been designated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, a time to learn more about how to reduce risk for developing this cancer.
Food choice makes a difference
Eating a high-fiber diet reduces all cancer risks including the risk of colorectal cancer. Filling your plate with fruits, vegetables and whole grains provides vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
Step away from the couch
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Daily exercise can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer as well as improve heart health. Concentrate on finding 30 minutes a day for moderate exercise. If you can’t find a block of 30 minutes in your day, try sneaking in three 10-minute periods of activity.
Keep an eye on the scale
Being overweight can increase the risk of colorectal cancer, as well as other cancers. Talk with your doctor, who can help you set a realistic goal for weight loss.
Make wise lifestyle choices
Smoking and drinking alcohol can negatively affect your overall health, as well as increase cancer risk. If you smoke, take steps to quit. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Colon cancer screening is the most important prevention measure. During screening, doctors can identify precancerous changes in the colon and remove them before they become cancerous. Talk with your doctor for screening guidelines based on your age, family history and other risk factors.
Be aware of symptoms
There are some changes in health that could be symptoms of colon cancer or other health conditions. If you notice any of these, it is important to share the information with your doctor. The symptoms include:
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bowel habits lasting several days
- Frequent gas pains or abdominal cramps
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness and fatigue
Get the best care
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After receiving a diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, it is wise to seek an effective recovery program. Glenview Terrace offers a Colorectal Care Program that effectively addresses every facet of recovery, including therapy, nutrition, ostomy wound care, pain management and tailor-made care plans. The program is directed by board-certified colorectal surgeons John Park, M.D., and Slawomir J. Marecik, M.D., to assure each patient receives individualized care. This level of care can lead to fewer complications following surgery, a shorter length of stay, fewer readmissions and a successful recovery.
At Glenview Terrace, the focus is always to help get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire. Focusing on healthcare excellence and safety, Glenview Terrace provides the latest infection-control precautions, including routine COVID-19 testing and monitoring. Glenview Terrace is also ranked among the top 1% of all Illinois post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers by Newsweek — and has received Medicare’s highest five-star rating. Glenview Terrace has also earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval certification for post-hospital and post-surgical care. For additional information or to arrange a personalized virtual tour, visit glenviewterrace.com or call 847-729-9090.Back