Rectal cancer is a type of colorectal cancer affecting the last six inches of the large intestine. Rectal cancer treatment is more likely to be successful when the cancer is detected in early stages. That’s why doctors recommend regular cancer screenings based on personal risk.
Rectal cancer prevention isn’t always possible, but the oncologists at Dignity Health Central California can help you learn how to reduce your risk. Find a Doctor to learn how to prevent rectal cancer in Central California.
If you do develop rectal cancer, our cancer care teams will provide the most comprehensive, compassionate, and advanced treatments available. Our goal is to return you to a healthy life.
Risk Factors for Rectal Cancer
Factors that increase your risk for rectal cancer include:
- Family or personal history of colorectal polyps or cancer
- Personal history of ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease
- Having type 2 diabetes
- Certain gene mutations or genetic conditions
- Being 50 years of age or older
- Being African American
Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk. They include not exercising, being overweight, having a poor diet, smoking, and using alcohol heavily.
Rectal Cancer Prevention at Dignity Health Central California
The best way to prevent rectal cancer is to remove colon polyps before they develop into cancer. Polyps are small growths of cells on the inner lining of the intestines that become more common as you age. Your doctor can perform a colonoscopy to identify and remove any polyps in your rectum.
You can reduce your risk of rectal cancer by:
- Quitting smoking
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting moderate or vigorous exercise most days of the week
- Eating a balanced diet with a variety of whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits
Even with these strategies, it’s not always possible to prevent rectal cancer.
In addition to colonoscopy, Dignity Health Central California offers a variety of recommended cancer screenings for women and men. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you. Dignity Health Central California provides personalized rectal cancer prevention and screening services in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.