Colon Cancer

How Can Colon Cancer Be Prevented?

There are several techniques, including screening tests and lifestyle changes, associated with the prevention of colorectal cancer. The best way to help prevent colorectal cancer is to:

  • Schedule regular colorectal cancer screening tests with your doctor. In this way, small polyps may be discovered before they become cancerous.
  • Avoid diets high in fat, alcohol, protein, calories, and red and white meat. Colon cancer is more common in the U.S. and other Western countries where people eat foods high in saturated fat and low in fiber.
  • The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin) may decrease the risk of colon cancer.
  • Eat foods rich in fiber. Dietary fiber is thought to protect against colon cancer because fiber-rich food is digested faster. Therefore undigested food remains in the colon for a shorter period of time.

For further information about fiber, go to Fiber: Its Importance In Your Diet.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Many foods contain high levels of fiber. These include:




  • Oats
  • Oat bran
  • Rye crisp crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Toasted wheat germ
  • Granola
  • High fiber bread
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Corn
  • Okra
  • Potatoes (with skin)
  • Zucchini
  • Apples
  • Figs
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Need To Know:

Other important steps toward prevention are:

  • Quit smoking. There is evidence that smoking increases the risk of colon cancer.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. Some studies suggest that consuming large amounts of alcohol raises colon cancer risk.
  • Get moving. A sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of colon cancer.


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