A meta-analysis from 2015 showed that consuming red and processed meat “convincingly increases the risk of colon cancer by 20% to 30%.” Study participants who consumed the most processed meat had “substantially elevated risks” (20% for colorectal cancer), according to a 2007 study.
3. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption is linked to 1.2- to 1.5-fold increased risks of cancers of the colon and rectum compared with no alcohol consumption; and there is a strong body of scientific evidence supporting this conclusion.
A 2021 research study showed that heavy drinking in adolescence raises the risk of colorectal cancer. According to another 2018 study on alcohol use and colorectal cancer, alcohol is one of the main risk factors for the disease.
The World Health Organization’s latest study, published in 2021, verified the connection between drinking alcohol and an increased risk of colon cancer.
4. Stop Smoking
One of the best habits to adopt when it comes to colon cancer prevention is to quit smoking. Smokers have a 50% higher risk of developing the disease than people who have never smoked.
A link between cigarette smoking and the incidence of colon cancer was discovered after a 12-year study of more than 180,000 individuals. The study found that current, lifelong smokers were most at risk. For previous smokers who gave up before the age of 40 or who had abstained for longer than 31 years, the risk dropped.
Research from The American Cancer Society came to the conclusion that long-term cigarette smoking increases the risk of colon cancer death in both men and women. Additionally, this study discovered that early smoking cessation decreased risk.
5. Maintain a healthy weight and engage in daily exercise
Exercise increases antioxidant levels and DNA repair. It can also affect growth factor production and insulin metabolism in ways that reduce inflammation and increase immune function. According to the National Cancer Institute, most physically active adults can reduce their risk of colon cancer by as much as 24%.
“We found that losing weight from early to late adulthood — at least 1 pound every 5 years — was associated with a 46% reduced risk of developing colorectal adenoma. Our study findings particularly support a benefit of weight loss for adults who are overweight or obese.”
According to a 2016 study, obesity’s side effects, such as increased visceral belly fat and insulin resistance, raise the risk of colon cancer.
According to a 2019 study, exercise may not only prevent about 15% of colon cancer cases but also lessen the chance of death and recurrence both before and after diagnosis.
People may cut their risk of colon cancer by 24% through regular physical activity, according to a 2009 meta-analysis study.
Another finding from a 2017 study shared that a sedentary lifestyle, particularly prolonged TV viewing, job-related sitting time, and overall sitting time, were linked to a rise in colorectal cancer in adults.
Learn more about Colorectal Cancer here.