In previous years, For Your Benefit has covered this topic in great detail, but it is worth reminding ourselves of a few important things about this disease.
- Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S.
- According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women in the U.S., and is expected to cause about 53,200 deaths during 2020.
- Screenings Matter!! The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. Screenings are able to find polyps before they can develop into cancers or when the disease is easier to treat. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the U.S. — proof that screening makes a difference.
- Your Pearson health plan provides for a free screening for colorectal cancer (once per calendar year), so there really is no excuse for not being proactive — it could save your life!
In addition to screenings, you can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recommends these healthy habits, which may lower your risk of colon cancer:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and foods high in fiber, and less animal products and fats.
- Add foods rich in calcium and folic acid to your diet (such as legumes, citrus, and broccoli)
- Exercise regularly. Engage in more moderate regular physical activity such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, raking leaves, or walking.