You can greatly reduce your risk of colon polyps and colorectal cancer by having regular screenings. Certain lifestyle changes also can help:
Aug. 12, 2014
- Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Reduce your fat intake.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Don't use tobacco.
- Stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Talk to your doctor about calcium. Studies have shown that increasing your consumption of calcium may help prevent recurrence of colon adenomas. But it isn't clear whether calcium has any protective benefits against colon cancer.
- Talk to your doctor about aspirin. Regular aspirin use may reduce your risk of polyps. But aspirin use can increase your risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, so check with your doctor beforehand.
- Consider your options if you're at high risk. If you have a family history of colon polyps, consider having genetic counseling. If you've been diagnosed with a hereditary disorder that causes colon polyps, you'll need regular colonoscopy starting in young adulthood.
- Ahnen DJ, et al. The approach to the patient with colonic polyps. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 28, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Why is surveillance of colorectal polyps important? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Elmunzer BJ. Endoscopic resection of sessile colon polyps. Gastroenterology. 2013;144:30.
- Baron TH, et al. Recommended intervals between screening and surveillance colonoscopies. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:854.
- Kennedy RD, et al. The natural history of familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome: A 24 year review of a single center experience in screening, diagnosis, and outcomes. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2014;49:82.
- Sharma P, et al. Advanced imaging in colonoscopy and its impact on quality. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2014;79:28.
- Hegde M, et al. ACMG technical standards and guidelines for genetic testing for inherited colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, and MYH-associated polyposis). Genetics in Medicine. 2014;16:101.
- What I need to know about colon polyps. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/colonpolyps_ez/#what. Accessed March 29, 2014.
- Ahnen DJ, et al. Colorectal cancer: Epidemiology, risk factors, and protective factors. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2014.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 10, 2014.
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