Colon cancer is killing more younger people than ever. A cancer expert shares 4 easy ways to lower your risk.

Colon cancer is killing more younger people than ever. A cancer expert shares 4 easy ways to lower your risk.
  • The number of colorectal cancer deaths in people under 50 is rising.

  • Dr. Bill Dahut, a cancer expert, shared four ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

  • These include adjusting your diet and cutting down on alcohol.

As the number of younger adults dying of colorectal cancer in the US each year increases, a cancer researcher has shared four ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease. 

Experts aren’t sure why, but the number of people under 50 being diagnosed with colorectal cancer has been increasing steadily each year since the 1990s.

Dr. Bill Dahut, the chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, told Business Insider that although some genetic conditions can predispose a person to colorectal cancer, the notable increase in cases is probably due to external factors.

Eating poor diet, obesity, drinking alcohol heavily, smoking, and having inflammatory bowel disease put a person at greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Dahut shared some lifestyle tweaks that can lower colorectal cancer risk.

Eat less red meat

Red meat is classified as “probably carcinogenic” to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classifies substances and circumstances according to how likely reserach suggests they are to cause cancer.

This classification is based on evidence that it increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer, and emerging evidence that it could be linked to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancers.

So, the ACS recommends that people limit their consumption of red meat, and eat other proteins, such as fish, poultry, and beans, more often, because there isn’t thought to be a safe amount of red meat you can consume.

Eat less sugar

While it’s not true that sugar feeds cancer in those with the disease as some would have you believe, eating less sugar is thought to help prevent cancer from developing, Dr. Suneel Kamath, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Cleveland Clinic, told Medical News Today last year.

That is because obesity is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, and eating too much sugar is one factor that can cause obesity.

BI previously reported on other ways to reduce sugar in your diet, and cutting out sugary drinks can be starting point.

One 2022 study found a link between drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages and a higher rate of colon cancer.

Eat more fiber

Eating more fiber has plenty of benefits, including improving gut and heart health, regulating blood sugar spikes, and reducing constipation.

And it can also reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. A 2018 review of studies found that dietary fiber plays “several important roles in colon cancer prevention,” including improving bowel movements and reducing the amount of carcinogens produced during digestion.

Gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz explained his F-GOALS method to BI, which is his trick for getting more fiber into his diet.

Drink less alcohol

Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing several types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including mouth and throat, colon and rectum, liver, and breast.

Even moderate drinking is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. This is because the body breaks alcohol down into the chemical acetaldehyde, which damages the DNA of cells and can enable them to begin growing out of control — which is how cancerous tumors are formed — according to the CDC.

Read the original article on Business Insider