- Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 45.* If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your doctor about earlier screening.
- Eat plenty of fiber—between 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, nuts and beans.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
- Eat foods with folate such as leafy green vegetables.
- Don’t drink excessive alcohol or smoke. If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps may help reduce your risk.
*In 2018, secondary to new data on the increased risks of colon cancer in those under 50, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery changed recommendations to consider starting screening at age 45.