Bowel cancer is a serious gastroenterological condition that affects thousands of Australians every year. According to government data, more than 17,000 men and women were diagnosed with this condition in 2018 alone.
The condition has a serious effect on daily life and its diagnosis requires many lifestyle changes. As such, many Australians are actively interested in preventing bowel cancer.
Prevention, itself, doesn’t require drastic lifestyle changes for most, which makes their incorporation relatively easy. Today’s post dives into some of the most effective ways to prevent bowel cancer.
Maintain a healthy diet
Incorporating fibre-rich food into daily diet is one of the most effective ways of ensuring a healthy digestive system. This is because fibre helps food pass through the body with greater ease. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grain cereals and bread, as well as lentils are some of the best sources of fibre.
One item that should be cut out as much as possible is processed meat. While there aren’t any conclusive findings, it is often suspected that the chemicals in this kind of meat can lead to bowel cancer. Individuals are better off with organic meats and fish, as well as trying to balance out their portions of animal-based protein with more vegetables.
It’s also important to be mindful about sugar intake, saturated fats, and fatty food in general. Conversely, dairy products and calcium supplements have shown signs of being able to prevent bowel cancer.
Exercise and maintain a healthy body weight
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, exercise isn’t just a means to an end. It’s equally important to exercise in order to remain active.
A healthy weight is important because there may be evidence that excess fat can change the body’s hormone levels and produce chemical messengers, which, in turn, increase the risk of cancer. Those at risk or even those who are more cautious about their health must consult a doctor about what a healthy body means for them.
In addition, it’s important to stay away from crash diets and the numerous diet fads that come up every now and then. It’s far better to stick to a long-term diet plan and balance that with frequent exercise, instead.
It’s also wise to read food labels and understand each ingredient and the potential effect it may have on the body.
Stop smoking and drink alcohol in moderation
Another recommendation doctors make when it comes to preventing bowel cancer is to stop smoking and limit alcohol intake – two vices that are risk factors for more than just this condition.
Smoking, in particular, is more serious, causing at least 13 types of cancer, as well as heart disease and a variety of lung diseases. This is because the chemicals in cigarette smoke enter the bloodstream and may even change human DNA.
As for alcohol, it’s not necessary to cut out drinking entirely, as long as there’s some moderation. For individuals seeking to prevent bowel cancer, daily drinking must be avoided. In fact, consuming two or more drinks per day has shown signs of increasing the risk of this condition.
Prevent bowel cancer for a healthy and fulfilling life
Bowel cancer is a very serious condition, but much like many other diseases, incidence can be reduced with the right dietary, lifestyle practices and surveillance.
Being diligent may require some sacrifice, but there are few things as worthy of sacrifice as a healthy and fulfilling life.
For bowel cancer screening and more information on how to stay ahead of this diagnosis, Sydney Gut Clinic’s experienced gastroenterology specialists provide expert advice.