Colorectal cancer claims millions of lives every year across the world. It is one of the top 3 most common cancers among men and women. In colorectal cancer or colon cancer, there is a growth of adenomatous polyps in the colon or rectum in the gastrointestinal tract. It takes many years for the adenoma to develop into cancer. That’s why screening for this cancer post 50 years of age is highly recommended as timely detection and treatment can help get rid of cancer and increase chances of survival.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer should get you to consult a doctor immediately. If you experience bleeding or pain while passing stools, diarrhoea or constipation for many days, chronic indigestion, poor appetite, unexplained weight loss and physical exhaustion, it could be colorectal cancer.

What causes colorectal cancer is not known but some of the factors that could up your risk include: bad lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and genetic disposition to cancer.

Certain dietary and lifestyle changes are needed to prevent and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Apart from screening, make sure to ditch some of the bad habits:

Cut down high-calorie soft drinks, packaged juices, processed meat: All of these foods can contribute to inflammation and hence colorectal cancer. Various studies have observed a high fibre diet can help prevent colorectal cancer. men should consume about 30 grams of fibre in a day and women should eat about 25 gms of fibre. A shortage of fibre in your daily diet is one of the leading causes of colorectal cancer. Make it a point to eat fresh produce and a healthy mix of nutrients in the form of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and lean protein. Make sure to eat food in its original, natural form” eat whole fruits instead of drinking juices, eat fresh meat instead of cured meats, opt for homemade foods instead of store-bought ones.

Keep obesity away: Obesity has been blamed for a number of diseases. Colorectal cancer also features on this list. Regular exercise, consumption of healthy fats and a close watch on cholesterol levels could help you prevent the risk.