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Colorectal Cancer Lifestyle Changes

“There are many things people can do to lower their risk of colorectal cancer,” said Katherine Freeman, MD, Catholic Health Gastroenterologist at Catholic Health Ambulatory Care at Lake Success. “Changes to one’s lifestyle that include a proper diet and regular exercise play a major role in helping to avoid a significant health issue.”

Dr. Freeman recommends regular consumption of leafy greens, fruits and whole grains. An eating plan that includes foods in these three groups has been linked with decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer. She also suggests eating lower amounts of red meats and processed meats.

Regular exercise is also essential. Dr. Freeman notes that being active doesn’t need to be complicated, and something as simple as a 30-minute daily walk is beneficial.

“There is a dual benefit to physical activity,” she said. “Not only does this lower cancer risks, but it also allows individuals to take control of their weight.”

Additionally, not smoking—or quitting smoking—and avoiding alcohol are both strongly encouraged. Both behaviors are linked to higher rates of colorectal cancer.

“Altering these lifestyle habits may be challenging at first, but they will have significant positive impacts in the long run,” Dr. Freeman said. “They will lower the risk of colorectal and other types of cancer along with other serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.”

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Find a Catholic Health doctor near you. Or call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362). Explore colorectal cancer services.


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