Men’s Health Month: Colon Cancer Prevention

Men are good at many things, but health care is often not one of them. That being said, why do women visit their doctors more frequently than men?
 
There are numerous reasons for this. The top two reasons, in my opinion, are that society looks down on men and views self-care as a weakness. However, let me ask you a question: how can you fully give to others if you don’t take care of yourself? Contrary to popular belief, putting yourself first is not selfish. If your mind, body, and soul are not in sync, cracks will form in your system over time.

What can I do, myNovaHealthcare?

I’m glad you asked!
 
Let’s start with your body and get it checked out. Most cases of colon cancer are preventable if detected early, with the first check-up for men at the age of 45. According to the Abancens et al. all article, Sexual Dimorphism in Colon Cancer, (2020), men have a higher chance of getting colorectal cancer than women. Cancer is the third leading cause of death in men and the second leading cause of death worldwide.
 
” This year, an estimated 151,030 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. These numbers include 106,180 new cases of colon cancer (54,040 men and 52,140 women) and 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer (26,650 men and 18,200 women). Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer. An estimated 1,880,725 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2020. These numbers include 1,148,515 colon cancer cases and 732,210 rectal cancer cases.”  (Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2022)

There is another important fact about colon cancer: it can be prevented. Seventy-five percent of all cases could be avoided with simple actions you can take. Start with one or two of these.
 

1. Get Screened

 
The single best way to protect yourself from colon cancer is to have regular screening tests. It can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable, and help prevent it by detecting polyps, which are abnormal growths that can develop into cancer.
 

2. Maintain a healthy weight

 
Except for smoking, nothing else raises the overall risk of cancer more than being overweight. At least 13 different cancers have been linked to weight gain and obesity, including colon cancer. If you’ve put on weight, a good first goal is to try to stop gaining weight – which has health benefits by itself. Then, for a bigger health boost, slowly work to lose some pounds.
 

3. Don’t Smoke

 
It hardly needs to be said, but quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Tobacco use is linked to 15 different cancers, including colon cancer. Furthermore, it raises the risk of other serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and emphysema. If you smoke, quitting has immediate benefits that begin soon after your last cigarette. For more information, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (in Illinois, 1-866-QUITYES) or go to smokefree.gov. Speaking with a doctor can increase your chances of success.
 

4. Limit alcohol consumption – zero is ideal

 
While moderate drinking may be beneficial to the heart in older adults, even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of colon and breast cancer. And, given the other dangers of alcohol, abstaining is the healthiest option.
 

5. Engage in Physical Activity

Regular exercise is difficult to beat. It reduces the risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, and gives you a mental boost. Any amount of physical activity is preferable to none, but it is best to aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day. Choose activities that you enjoy, such as brisk walking, cycling, dancing, or gardening.

 

Reference:

 

Abancens Maria, Bustos Viviana, Harvey Harry, McBryan Jean, Harvey Brian J., Sexual Dimorphism in Colon Cancer, Frontiers in Oncology, Volume 10, 2020.

 

https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fonc.2020.607909
https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/statistics
https://siteman.wustl.edu/prevention/8-ways/8-ways-to-prevent-colon-cancer/

Our offices will be open on 11/23 only until noon, 11/24 we are closed for Thanksgiving and 11/25 will be open until noon - PST time.