Contributor: Jeffrey Meyerhardt, MD, MPH, is clinical director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
While one of the most common cancers in both men and women, colorectal cancer remains a very preventable disease, explains Dr. Meyerhardt.
“Most of these cancers develop over a period of years,” said Dr. Meyerhardt. “While not preventable in everyone, the earlier you detect the disease, the more curable it is.”
Below are five tips from Dr. Meyerhardt on ways to reduce your risk.
1. Live a healthy lifestyle.
“There are various dietary factors that play a role in colorectal cancer,” explained Dr. Meyerhardt. “The one that’s the most consistently shown in studies is red and processed meat.” To lower your risk, Dr. Meyerhardt recommends eating fewer than two servings of red or processed meat per week. This includes foods such as steak, hamburgers, and hot dogs.