March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and it is estimated that this year alone, there will be over 145,000 new cases diagnosed and almost 52,000 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that if people over age 50 were regularly screened with a colonoscopy, 60% of deaths from this cancer could be prevented. Here are some cancer prevention reminders.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer cancer:
- Age – over 50 years
- Having a close relative with colorectal cancer
- Having inflammatory bowel disease
- Being a smoker
- Drinking too much alcohol
What can offer protection from developing colorectal cancer:
- Get to and maintain a lean weight
- Exercise – 30 minutes daily
- Have polps removed
- Healthy diet with little red meat
- Lots of fruits and veggies
- Eating lots of legumes, whole-grains, fish
There is a great website – www.preventcolon.org – that lets you figure out your risk for developing colorectal cancer, and then it provides information to help you lower your cancer risk.
Research in this field continues every day with very dedicated cancer specialists. They are looking at the benefits of aspirin and having more calcium and folic acid in the diet – nothing is firm about these yet but it looks promising. And the key is to have your colonoscopy when your doctor recommends it. Don’t put it off – it could save your life!
This delicious-looking black bean-couscous salad provides a vegetarian meal with plenty of fiber! The dressing is a combo of low-sodium V-8 juice and olive oil.