5 Things Men Need To Do, To Cut Their Colorectal Cancer Risk

Above: Learn how easy it is to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer
Above: Learn how easy it is to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among men in Ontario. Last year, close to 5,000 men in Ontario were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 1,900 died from it.  Now, if you had the choice to accept your risk of colorectal cancer or be proactive with lifestyle changes that would greatly reduce your risk, I think we’d all agree there’s only one choice that makes sense.

The good news is that there are several easy ways you can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

Get active

Exercise regularly. Join that tennis or golf club you’ve always wanted to check out. Or find an activity or sport for all of your buddies so you can hang out there rather than hitting the pub for a beer. You can also, incorporate more physical activity into your day to day routine by riding your bike to the office, getting off the subway a stop or two earlier  or taking a walk after dinner with your wife.

Eat a balanced diet

Meet with a dietitian or just refresh yourself on the elements of a balanced diet and work towards cleaning up what you consume. Cut down on the take-out meals and red meat and focus on lean proteins, fruits and veggies and whole grains. Plan your meals for the week ahead so you can pick up what you need at the grocery store and be prepared.

Maintain a healthy weight

There’s no time like the present to work towards getting down to the healthy weight your doctor’s been talking to you about. The good news is that the two steps above (exercising and eating a balanced diet) will put you on the right track while also helping to lower your colorectal cancer risk. If you find your weight creeping up on you, try taking a look at your diet and exercise levels and make adjustments where you can.

Get screened

Do the responsible thing and see your doctor regularly for checkups and get screened for colorectal cancer when the time comes (which for men, begins at age 50). When you’re screened regularly and it’s detected early, there’s a 90 percent chance of curing colorectal cancer. So when should you start screening? If you don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer, you should start at age 50 with a take-home fecal occult blood test (FOBT) you can get from your doctor. And while cancer prevention is top of mind, talk to the older generations in your family and make sure they’re also protecting themselves through regular screening.

Last but not least…

You might be wondering what else you can do before it’s time to get screened. In addition to eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, you can find out what your risk of colorectal cancer is right now! Simply go to MyCancerIQ.ca to complete a questionnaire that will not only tell you what your risk is, but also how to reduce it.

For more information about Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, visit cancercare.on.ca/colon.

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