How to prevent colon cancer

Colon cancer and rectal cancer are preventable through screening. There are also healthy lifestyle choices that can lower your risk.

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This year, 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancer. An estimated 60% of those deaths can be prevented with screenings. To learn more about the number of people diagnosed each year and why that number is increasing among young adults, check out the facts and stats about colorectal cancer.


Routine screenings are how to prevent colon cancer. There are several screening options, including some you can even do at home. It’s best to talk to your doctor about your screening options for colorectal cancer and decide on a screening plan that is right for you. Screening for colon cancer and rectal cancer involves finding colon polyps and removing them before they turn into cancer. This is why colorectal cancer is considered a preventable cancer in most cases.

Healthy lifestyle choices

In addition to getting screened, there are healthy lifestyle choices you can make that lower your risk of getting colon cancer. Eating a high-fiber diet full of whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds and fruits and vegetables is a key way to prevent colorectal cancer. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week can also reduce your risk. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Drink fewer sugary drinks and cut out processed meats. These are a few key ways research has shown a risk of colon cancer can be reduced.


Colon cancer and rectal cancer can be prevented. Colorectal cancer screening can also detect cancer early — when it is most curable. Learn how to prevent colon cancer by learning about screening options.

Colonoscopy Prep

If you’re getting a colonoscopy, the prep is not optional. You must clean out your colon so the doctor can get a good look at the inside. Learn more about colonoscopy prep from those who have gone through it.


A colon polyp is a small growth found on the inside of the colon. As a polyp grows, it may become cancerous. Not all polyps will become cancer, but it is important to remove them all to prevent the possibility.

Gut Health

What you eat and other healthy lifestyle choices can also play a role in how to prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer.


Several factors may place you at a higher risk for getting colorectal cancer. Some of these risk factors are out of your control, and some are within your control.