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Rectal & Colon Cancer in Men

(continued)

How Can I Prevent Colorectal Cancer? continued...

A 2006 study showed that men were more likely to develop polyps and cancer earlier than women. Therefore, early screening may be even more important for men's health.  

Some of the other things men can do today to start lowering colorectal cancer risk are:

  • Eating like a hunter-gatherer, not a caveman. Cut back on the red meat, like burgers and steaks. Instead, fill up on more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. These changes alone could reduce your risk by about 50%.
  • Getting off the couch. Active men get less colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends 30 minutes of activity five days a week.
  • Quitting smoking and limit drinking. Keep alcohol to one or two drinks a day.

What Are the Treatments for Colorectal Cancer?

The right colorectal cancer treatment is based on the degree of spreading, or stage:

  • Cancer that is self-contained inside a polyp can often be cured with a colonoscopy. A snare on the end of the colonoscope cuts the entire cancer out.
  • If colorectal cancer has spread into the bowel wall, surgery is needed. Part or all of the colon is removed (hemicolectomy or colectomy).
  • Once the cancer has spread into the body, treatment becomes more complex. It will usually involve chemotherapy or other targeted colorectal cancer treatments. See http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/features/colorectal-cancer-new-treatments-improved-prognosis for treatment information.

As you can see, the treatments get more aggressive and invasive as the cancer spreads. 

What Else Do I Need to Know about Colorectal Cancer?

The greatest tragedy about colorectal cancer is that so many deaths from it are preventable. Sure, the testing can be uncomfortable or embarrassing, but you’ll survive. On the other hand, you may not survive if you don’t get screened. You owe it to yourself -- and your family -- to take colorectal cancer seriously.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on February 08, 2012
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