Colorectal Cancer

Ways to minimize your risk

(HealthDayNews) -- Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States with about 135,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to Duke University Medical Center.

Here are some ways to minimize your risk of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Follow a healthful diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • After age 40, start a screening program that includes an annual digital rectal exam and a stool-sample test. After age 50, get a colonoscopy every five to 10 years.
  • If there's a family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about starting a more rigorous screening program.
  • Be alert for symptoms including blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, and abdominal pain.
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