This year in the United States, around 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed. It is the third most common type of cancer among Americans—and also the third most common cause of cancer death.

During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, our team at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN wants to help you learn more about colorectal cancer, including how to prevent it. Read on as we share some insight into the topic.

Who’s at Risk of Colorectal Cancer?

Everyone, really! We’re all at risk of colorectal cancer, which occurs in people of all ages, genders and races. It doesn’t discriminate.

But certain people are at a higher risk of developing the disease for one reason or another. If you have any risk factors, talk with your doctor about a screening regimen that’s best for you.

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

  • Advanced age
  • African American race
  • Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel conditions
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking

What Can I Do to Prevent Colorectal Cancer?

The good news about colorectal cancer is that while it’s common, it’s also incredibly preventable. That’s because colonoscopy—considered the gold standard of colorectal screenings—allows doctors to spot and remove pre-cancerous lesions before they turn into cancer.

So, the most important step you can take to prevent colorectal cancer is to undergo screenings as recommended by your doctor. But there are also steps you can take to lower your risk.

Colorectal Cancer Prevention

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Manage chronic health conditions like diabetes.
  • Include more fiber in your diet.
  • Limit your intake of red meat.

When was the last time you had a wellness check? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN today for a checkup. No appointment needed!