5. Preventive schemes
Live a healthy lifestyle and be active. Don't smoke and watch your weight. If you have diabetes make sure it's under control. The most effective mode of prevention is to have periodic colonoscopies. The vast majority of colorectal cancer cases are preceded by a benign stage called polyp. Removing polyps during a colonoscopy is like pulling dandelions from your lawn in the spring before they go to seed. If you do this, the lawn will not be overcome by dandelions. Similarly, if polyps are found and removed colonoscopically, often colorectal cancer can be prevented.
John Procaccino, MD, is chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at North Shore University Hospital and an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He also leads Northwell Health's Fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery.