Colorectal cancer brings many changes in your life. One of the biggest changes is worry over lowering your risk of recurrence or continued growth of your cancer. Research indicates some things you can do to relieve this worry, taking some control over risk factors for growth or return of your cancer.
Research shows that obesity or being overweight increases your risk of many health problems, including colorectal cancer. It also increases your risk of death from colorectal cancer. What is unknown is whether losing weight during your cancer treatment or after remission improves your health outlook or reduces recurrence risk.
Being at a healthy weight improves your life in many ways. It also helps prevent many health problems. Discuss any desired weight changes with your doctor, for your best weight loss journey.
People living physically active lives after treatment are shown by research to experience lower risk for recurrence of colorectal cancer. They also less frequently die from their cancer. Beyond your cancer, being active increases your quality of life, improves physical functioning, reduces fatigue and boosts your mood. Like with any other health or lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor before increasing your activity level.
Some studies show diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish provide the greatest longevity for colorectal cancer survivors. But scientists know little of whether these health benefits come directly from eating well or because general health improves when you eat well.
Many people take a regimen of vitamins and minerals each day, for general wellness. But no dietary supplements clearly indicate colorectal cancer risk reduction benefits. Nor do any supplements prove helpful for recurrence prevention. But some research shows higher levels of vitamin D in your blood might provide colorectal cancer prevention benefits. Other research shows calcium supplements improve the outlook for polyp recurrence for people with a history of colorectal polyps.
Drinking alcohol ties to increased risk of experiencing a colorectal cancer diagnosis, particularly for men. But whether drinking alcohol affects recurrence of colorectal cancer is unknown. Men who drink should limit their alcohol intake to two drinks per day, for best health after cancer. Women should limit to one drink per day. These recommendations come from the American Cancer Society. But you should discuss your best health options with your doctor.
Colorectal cancer survivors more often die from their cancer or other causes when they regularly smoke, according to research.
Having colorectal cancer or being in remission from your disease does not mean you have immunity to other cancers. You can still get other cancers, such as another colorectal cancer or other types. In fact, you experience higher risk than people who have not had cancer. This is why you need to remain on top of your wellness and maintain your schedule of recommend healthcare visits.