Keeping a healthy and pain-free digestive tract is one of the best ways to prevent rectal cancer. There are certain steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing rectal cancer, including getting regular screenings, making healthy lifestyle choices and understanding the risk factors. Here are five steps to help you reduce your risk of rectal cancer:
1. Get Screened Regularly
Early detection is key to beating rectal cancer. If a small cancerous growth is detected early on, it may be able to successfully treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. To increase your chances of early detection, be sure to get screened for rectal cancer on a regular basis. Most experts recommend getting a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet low in fat, red meat, and processed foods can help protect your digestive tract from cancer-causing agents. Make sure to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, while also limiting your intake of sugar and refined grains. You may also benefit from taking a daily multivitamin as an extra layer of protection.
3. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity is key to maintaining a healthy digestive tract and reducing your risk of rectal cancer. Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation and keep your digestive system running smoothly. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. This can include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or any other form of exercise that you enjoy.
4. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Use
Smoking and heavy alcohol use can both increase your risk of developing rectal cancer. If you currently smoke, make sure to quit as soon as possible. If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to just 1-2 drinks a day. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol use can help protect your digestive tract from cancer and other diseases.
5. See Your Doctor Regularly
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, bloody stool, or any other unusual symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor right away. Even if you have no symptoms of rectal cancer, it is still important to keep your regular check-ups with your doctor to make sure everything is normal.
By following these five steps, you can reduce your risk of developing rectal cancer and maintain a healthy and pain-free digestive tract. Remember to get screened regularly, eat a healthy diet, exercise often, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, and visit your doctor on a regular basis. These simple steps can help protect your digestive tract and keep you healthy.