Self-management

Prevention

You can greatly reduce your risk of colon polyps and colorectal cancer by having regular screenings. Certain lifestyle changes also can help:

  • Adopt healthy habits. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet and reduce your fat intake. Limit alcohol consumption and quit tobacco. Stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Talk to your doctor about calcium and vitamin D. 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. Other studies have shown that vitamin D may have a protective effect against colorectal cancer.
  • 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 colonoscopies starting in young adulthood.