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Reduce your risk

You can play a vital role in reducing your risk of developing colon cancer. Here are some important ways to reduce your risk:

  • If you’re age 50 and over, get screened regularly. If you have a partner(s), encourage them to get screened as well if they’re over 50. Mutual encouragement can work wonders!
  • Stay active! Whether it’s walking, swimming, or anything else that keeps you moving, keep it up!
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that being overweight or obese increases your risk of cancer.
  • Limit the amount of red and processed meat in your diet. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends limiting yourself to three servings of red meat per week. Each serving should be no more than three ounces.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends drinking no more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day.
  • If you smoke, try to quit and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible.
  • Increase your vitamin D intake. Research shows that vitamin D is a protective factor in colon cancer. You can get Vitamin D from:
    • exposure to sunlight. Remember that sun exposure also has risks associated with skin cancer, so talk to your healthcare provider.
    • eating foods that are fortified with vitamin D (for example, fatty fish like salmon, fortified milk and orange juice)
    • taking supplements as advised by your healthcare provider.