Baptist Health Richmond: Preventing Colorectal Cancer
Gastroenterologist Nadeem Khan, MD, lists ways to prevent colon cancer, including lifestyle changes and having a colonoscopy, which can detect polyps before they become cancerous.
Preventing Colorectal Cancer HealthTalks Transcript
Nadeem Khan, MD, Gastroenterology
Colon cancer is the second most dreadful cancer in the United States and it has a risk factor of about 1 in 21 among men, and 1 in about 23 for women. While there are several things available which you can make changes in your lifestyle, namely reduction of alcohol, one should, again, try to quit smoking, active lifestyle, avoidance of meat which is preserved, eat more fruits and leafy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, calcium supplements, high vitamin D content in the food or supplements. Colonoscopy is an invasive procedure. It involves cleansing of the colon, and then we perform a colonoscopy with a flexible colonoscope, a video camera chip at the end, which gives us a high-resolution picture. If we detect polyps, we take them out. It is the polyp-cancer sequence which leads to the development of colorectal cancer, so if we take out the polyps, we can directly reduce the incidents of colorectal cancer development in the future. Colon cancer is a preventable disease. If we detect the disease early on and treat it appropriately, the curative rate is as high as 90 percent.
The risk of colorectal cancer increases dramatically with age. Take our colorectal cancer risk assessment to estimate your personal risk of developing colon and rectal cancer.