March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and we never pass up an opportunity to shout from the rooftops about the importance of getting screened! Why? Because Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers among men and women, but it can be prevented with routine screening. (Prevention is one of JBB's core values!)
Getting screened for colorectal cancer may sound unpleasant, but it can actually prevent cancer. And today, there are many screening options; some you can even do from home.
Hop over to quiz.getscreened.org and take the quiz to find out when you should be screened.
It’s important to note that most people should start getting screened at 45 years, BUT the frequency of young-onset colorectal cancer is increasing—the incidence rate for people under 50 rises by 1.5% yearly. The most recent statistics show that colorectal cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men between the ages of 20 and 49. Go take the quiz!
Many people are surprised to learn that CRC often has no symptoms; another reason to take the quiz! For more information about symptoms, please visit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance website here. The more you know!
So, aside from getting screened, what else can we do in terms of prevention? We’re so glad you asked! ;-)
GET MORE FIBER! (Would you look at that; our favorite topic!)
Fiber is an essential weapon in the fight against obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease!
Here are a few unexpected reasons why fiber can help fend off CRC! (And one obvi one!)
1.) Living a high-fiber lifestyle reduces exposure to carcinogens because fiber binds to bile acids and other potential carcinogens in the colon, escorting them to the sewer before they have a chance to damage cells!
2.) High-fiber lifestyles improve insulin sensitivity. This is important because if your cells are resistant to insulin, this causes high levels of insulin to just “hang out” and circulate in your bloodstream. This is bad because high levels of insulin can promote the growth of cancer cells.
3.) Living fiber-rich reduces inflammation in the colon, which is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. How? Fiber stimulates the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and those good gut bugs produce short-chain fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects in our gut and colon!
And lastly, something more obvious, a fiber-rich lifestyle, means promoting regularity. High-fiber foods help to bulk up the stool, resulting in fantastic BMs!
Why is this important? Because this reduces the amount of time waste material spends in the colon, which can help reduce exposure to potential carcinogens. (Pretty interesting, right?!)
As listed above, staying hydrated helps in preventing inflammation, encourages regular, healthy bowel movements, and lowers exposure to toxins.
An estimated 75% of Americans may be functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. YIKES!
You should put drinking enough water high on your list of healthy habits and preventative measures! Read more about staying hydrated here!
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reported that 25% of all cancer cases worldwide are caused by sedentary lifestyles. [FULL STOP!! READ THAT SENTENCE AGAIN!! <3]
Movement helps reduce inflammation in the colon, which is a risk factor for colon cancer. Exercise helps regulate insulin sensitivity and maintain a healthy weight, which are important factors in risk reduction.
Fact: Stress causes inflammation. Stress, both short-term and long-term, is linked to an uptick in inflammatory activity. And remember, reducing inflammation in the colon helps prevent CRC!
JBB Fun Fact: Chronic stress disrupts the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome. :/
Find ways to manage your stress. What works for you? Make time. Do it!
To sum up, colon cancer is a serious condition that can be prevented with regular screenings; and healthy lifestyle choices like high-fiber living, adequate hydration, movement, and stress reduction.
We’re glad you’re here reading this blog; talk with your family about colon cancer prevention today.
Live... just better.®