Reducing your risk

While colon cancer can affect anyone, it’s one cancer that is largely preventable. You can greatly reduce your risk of developing colon cancer by getting screened regularly and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Get Screened
Starting at age 50, be screened regularly for colon cancer. Learn more about screening options here. If you have a personal or family history of cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your healthcare provider about being screened earlier.

See Your Doctor if You Have Symptoms
Regardless of your age, know the risk factors and symptoms of colon cancer. If you experience symptoms at any age, see your doctor to discuss screening options.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet, one that is low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables (especially green, leafy vegetables) and whole grains, contributes to your health and your colon’s health. (see our Recipes resource for ideas). A daily multivitamin containing .4 mg of folic acid may also be helpful in reducing your risk.

Stay Active
Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes four to five days a week, can reduce your risk. Even moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing supports colon health.

Don’t Smoke
Long-term smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop and die from colorectal cancer. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don't use tobacco, don't start.

Use Alcohol in Moderation
To lower your risk of developing colon cancer, only drink alcohol in moderation.

The power to help prevent colon cancer is in your hands. Get screened and make healthy choices to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.