March is National Colorectal Awareness Month
Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death. In 2020, an estimated 915,880 people died from colorectal cancer. This includes 576,858 people with colon cancer and 339,022 people with rectal cancer. However, it can often be cured when it is found early. As a fitness professional, my advice when talking about colon care is to encourage us to include fruits and vegetables at every meal and often during the day. When looking for a snack, let’s pick up an apple, orange, raisins, banana, or cucumber! It is helpful to stock up on healthy options so that they will be there for us to choose when we are in a hurry. Eating more plant foods provides extra beneficial nutrients such as folate, calcium, and fiber that may protect against colorectal cancer.
Fruits and vegtables contain essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, usually low in calories. Generally, those with the most color – dark green, red, yellow, and orange – have the most nutrients.
Dietary fiber helps reduce colorectal cancer risk in four ways: it binds carcinogens to the stool and expels them from the body, good bacteria in the colon convert fiber into short-chain fatty acids, and short-chain fatty acids reduce the ability of cells in the intestine to become cancerous.
For more information about a healthy diet, please visit the links below.
When colorectal cancer is found early, it can often be cured. The death rate from this type of cancer in 2019 in the United States was 56% less than in 1970. This is due to improvements in treatment and increased screening which finds colorectal changes before turning cancerous and cancer at earlier stages.
There are many options for screening for colon cancer, and after talking to my health care professional, I chose to use Cologuard. After speaking to your health care provider, this screening may also be an option for you.
If you find yourself looking for healthy ways to give your body an advantage over colon cancer, please visit the sites listed below:
Writing: Sara Vogt - ACE Certified
Produced by Vogt Media