John L. Marshall, MD:
Everyone of course wants to reduce their risk for bad cancers, and colorectal cancer is no exception.So, the question is is there something you can actually do that might reduce your chances of getting colon cancer? The answer is yeah, maybe.So, first and maybe the most exciting of all is that there is pretty strong evidence that exercise decreases the changes of getting colorectal cancer.Now, it doesn't mean you have to go out there and start running marathons. Actually, I jokingly will prescribe a dog for my patients just to get them to go out and move on a daily basis.Park the car a little further away from the mall entrance. Take the stairs at work. Little things like that can indeed help.The second and maybe one of the harder ones is diet. Now, you don't have to go crazy here.We do want sort of a balance of high fiber and low fat diet. Many people say the Mediterranean diet is the ideal thing.That doesn't mean you can't go to Ben and Jerry's or an occasional Outback Steakhouse visit, but you do want to balance that with more fruits and vegetables, better fresh food for you bowel, if you will.Now, there are a couple of things that point to medicines. There is a lot of talk out there about vitamin D and possibly the role of calcium. I instruct most of my patients to take a little extra vitamin D, calcium maybe out there as well.Then for the over 50 crowd or certainly those with a history of stroke or heart attack, baby aspirin. There is fascinating data that if one were to take a daily baby aspirin, 81 milligram, there is good evidence that it decreases the chance of developing colorectal cancer.
John L. Marshall, MD (Continued):
Finally of course is screening. This is probably the most important piece of all. Colon cancer almost always starts as a polyp.
>If one goes and finds that polyp and removes it before it has a chance to become cancer, you'll prevent ever getting the disease. Stay out of my office through diet, exercise, a little bit of vitamin D, colonoscopy, and baby aspirin. Stay out of my office.