Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Although it was said in reference to fire safety, the adage couldn’t ring more true in regards to healthcare. This March, join Asheville Gastroenterology Associates as we celebrate National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and aim to find the best way toward that “pound of cure.”
Colon Cancer Prevention
So how can you help out in the effort to understand and discuss colon cancer? It’s always best to start out by understanding the disease and ways to prevent it. Since researchers haven’t determined a definitive cause of colon cancer, they usually focus on the major risk factors that are associated with it and what we can do about them. The first step should be to take control of your diet and exercise choices, making sure to incorporate regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits and veggies and low in red and processed meat. Make sure to maintain a healthy body weight and keep alcohol usage to a minimum and quit smoking. Even if you maintain all of the above, you should also understand the other risk factors that aren’t within your control. Certain racial and ethnic backgrounds put you at a higher risk, preexisting health conditions like IBD or Type 2 Diabetes, and a family history of colon cancer. If you have concerns about any of the above, voice them to your doctor at Asheville Gastroenterology Associates so we can evaluate your needs.
What Should I Do?
One of the most simple ways to help combat colon cancer is through lifesaving, regular colonoscopies beginning at age 50. The test surveys the lower digestive system with a thin, flexible camera, looking for polyps that may indicate the presence of colon cancer. The test is quick and typically done in an outpatient environment, so you’ll usually be back home that afternoon. If you have concerns about colon cancer or want to discuss your needs for screening, contact us today to help.