Sometimes referred to as the bowel or the large intestine, the colon is an important part of the digestive system. It’s responsible for absorbing water, the removal of waste products of digestion, production of antibodies and a number of equally critical bodily functions which make it pretty clear why it’s so important to keep the colon in top shape.

Let’s delve into how to keep your colon healthy and how you can keep an eye on your colon health.



How do you keep the colon healthy?


As one of the most common cancers in the United States, the American Cancer Society notes that about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colon or rectal cancer at some point in their life[1]. Having said that, protecting your colon and regular screening is essential to keeping your colon healthy.

Let’s discover more about the top ways to keep the colon healthy:


Watch what you eat


Eat less red meat and processed meats - each of which has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer[2]. Instead, opt to fill your plate with plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains - studies have shown that diets filled with these are linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer[3].


Limit alcohol intake


As many of us know, drinking alcohol in excess can cause health problems - your colon health is no exception. Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of colon cancer; though this tends to be stronger in men than in women, it can have an effect on both sexes [4].


Stick to a healthy weight


A higher BMI is associated with increased risks of colon cancer among both men and women [6] - one study saw a direct link between obesity and increasing rates of colon cancer in young women [7]. So, get out and try to fit some moderate exercise into your day to day routine and stick to a healthy diet to keep both you and your colon happy!


Prioritise screening


Early detection is crucial and colon screening tests have the ability to detect colon cancer before signs and symptoms develop. If there are growths, a screening can often find them and if found early these can often be removed before they have the chance to turn cancerous.


How do you check your colon health?


You can check your colon health with a stool sample - this can be done with your family doctor or from the comfort of your own home with LetsGetChecked’s at home colon screening test. If you’ve already noted blood in your stool - you should speak with your doctor.



Our home colon cancer screening test can help identify the presence of cancerous or precancerous growths in the bowel by detecting blood that’s invisible to the naked eye.


References

  1. American Cancer Society. Six ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2020
    2. American Cancer Society. Six ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2020
  2. American Cancer Society. Six ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2020
  3. American Cancer Society. Alcohol use and cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2017
  4. American Cancer Society. Six ways to lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2020
  5. National Cancer Institute. Obesity and cancer. Online: Cancer.gov, 2017
  6. American Cancer Society. Study: Obesity linked to colorectal cancer in young women. Online: Cancer.org, 2018