Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the third most common cancer in both men and women. One in 20 Americans develop colon cancer during their lifetime.
Dignity Health Central California offers complete cancer services, from preventative care to diagnosis, staging, and treatment. We can provide the expertise you need paired with the humankindness and respect you deserve. Find a Doctor today to create a strategy for colon cancer prevention in Central California.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown. While anyone can get it, certain risk factors increase your likelihood of developing colon cancer. Known risk factors for colon cancer include:
- Family or personal history
- Type 2 diabetes
- African American race
- Age over 50
- Genetics, including genetic syndromes and gene mutations
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of colon cancer, including smoking, not exercising, eating a poor diet, obesity, and heavy alcohol use.
Reducing Your Risk of Colon Cancer
One of the most effective ways to prevent colon cancer is to get regular screening exams. Colonoscopy is a common screening tool, but there are other options. Your Dignity Health Central California doctor will help you determine which option is best for you.
You can also reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes. Steps you can take to lower your risk of colon cancer include:
- Don’t smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Eat a balanced diet with a variety of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Get regular exercise most days of the week.
It isn’t possible to prevent all cases of colon cancer, but catching it early offers the best chance of eliminating it. Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health Central California about prevention and screening today. Dignity Health Central California provides colon cancer prevention services in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.