If you forget everything else we’ve talked about this month regarding colorectal cancer, please remember this one number:
As in, 50 percent. As in, take the number of colorectal cancers that occur in the United States each year — about 143,500 — and cut it in half.
That’s how many cases we could prevent, just by making healthier everyday choices.
- Move more, every day, in every way.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, fruits and beans — and make less room for red meat.
- While you’re at it, skip cold cuts, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats.
- The more you follow this advice, the easier it’ll be for you to lose the excess body fat that, we now know, makes colorectal cancer more likely.
Fifty percent. One in two.
That’s nearly 72,000 lives that could be spared this debilitating and too-frequently deadly cancer.
All of us at AICR dearly hope you follow the National Cancer Institute’s advice on screening for colorectal cancer. Catching the disease in its early stages can and does save lives.
But we also hope you emerge from National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with a new awareness that preventing this disease takes place outside of your doctor’s office. It happens every day, hundreds of times, with every small, unremarkable but vitally important choice you make about what to eat and how to live.