March is colorectal cancer awareness month, and it’s about time as colorectal cancer is skewing younger and younger around the world.
With young adults suffering from higher rates of sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise, doctors have changed their best practices so that colorectal cancer screenings start at 45 instead of the previously recommended 50.
This is because obesity, almost as much as age, increases people’s susceptibility to colorectal cancer.
These risks have become so thoroughly documented that it has become compared to the effects of smoking on the chances of getting lung cancer. In a study in the UK, patients who carried just a few more pounds of weight on their body for a few years suffered a 25% higher chance of getting colorectal cancer compared to their lighter counterparts.
This is believed to happen because fat tissue triggers the creation of chemicals that cause inflammation, which in turn makes it easier for tumor cells to grow in the body.
Obesity is a proven risk factor for the development of colorectal cancer, here 3 tips to help manage your obesity.
Instead of less unhealthy foods, think more healthy foods!
While it may be tempting to just eliminate fast food, soda, and cookies, this can often cause cravings and inevitably give up together. Dieticians instead recommend adding as many healthy foods as you can, even if they come in a slightly compromised state. Can’t stand chicken breast and broccoli? How about fried chicken and country potatoes instead? The goal is to eat healthier incrementally, allowing you and your body to begin to find healthy food you enjoy and can stick to eating.
Move, move, move!
While doctors recommend 150 minutes of moderately intense activity a week, you might need to start slow. Perhaps a long walk while listening to your favorite podcast, a couple of squats spread throughout the day. Any extra movement helps burn calories and keeps your body fit.
Sometimes our reasons for overeating or not exercising are related to a more emotional or trauma-related issue. Therapists and support groups can provide key insights as well as a valuable support as you work through your weight loss and overall health journey.
If you or a loved one may be suffering from colorectal cancer, speak with a medical professional today.