Colorectal (bowel) cancer – how do I reduce my risk?
Unfortunately, as with most cancers, bowel cancer can occur in anyone, even if there are no obvious risk factors. There is some evidence that the first four lifestyle factors listed below MIGHT impact on risk over an individual’s lifetime. Numbers 5 and 6, however, are the most important.
- Consuming a diet with plenty of vegetables and wholegrains
- Eating less cured meats such as bacon, salami
- Not smoking, or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Taking regular at least moderate exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
- Engaging in bowel cancer screening, either through the national screening programme when available or self-funded colonoscopy
- Being aware of symptoms that might indicate large polyps and having these investigated PROMPTLY (see ‘Am I at risk?’)