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According to the American Cancer Society, over four percent of U.S. men and women are at risk of developing colon cancer in their lifetime. Colon cancer begins in a patient’s colon or rectum due to out of control cell growth, and it ranks as the third most deadliest form of the disease in the U.S. alone.

Grim statistics, but there’s good news too: thanks to advances in prevention, early detection and better treatment options, there are now over one million colon cancer survivors in the US alone.

The key to winning the battle against this deadly disease – a disease that is on the rise among Americans under the age of 50 – is awareness, education and testing. Whether you’re experiencing symptoms like rectal bleeding or have a family history of colon cancer, it’s time to put your pride aside and get tested.

That's why the experts at Cooper University Health Care are here to help. Join them on Tuesday, March 29 at 12:30 p.m for their free webinar, Colon Cancer: Prevention, Detection and Treatment Options. Led by Dr. Steven R. Peikin, head of the Digestive Health Institute at Cooper University Health Care, and Dr. Steven J. McClane, head of the division of colorectal surgery and co-director of the gastrointestinal cancer program at MD Anderson Cooper, the free webinar will focus on colon cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

But why wait to start living healthier and decreasing your risk for getting colon cancer? Get a head start by incorporating these five healthy habits into your life.

  1. Healthy Diet: Obesity is one of the leading causes of cancer. Maintain a healthy weight by reducing your caloric intake and focusing on healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and the good fats found in avocados, almonds and olive oil.
  2. Keep Up The Cardio: In addition to diet, one of the key components to weight loss and thus reducing your colon cancer risk is by incorporating moderate cardio activity into your day-to-day routine. Aim for 30 minutes or more of cycling, running, hiking, dancing or even brisk walking.
  3. Stop Smoking: 
This one is a no brainer. We all know that smoking is directly linked to a host of health problems, including colon cancer. By quitting now you can greatly reduce your risk of colon cancer and other health-related issues. Consult your doctor or visit to get started.
  4. Cut Down on Red Meat: 
We all love a good burger, but red meat can lead to colon cancer. Even worse for you? Processed meats like bacon and bologna. Limit yourself to no more than three servings a week, replace the rest with lean meats and veggies, and you'll reap the benefits.

  5. Limit Drinking: While moderate drinking can benefit heart health, it has an adverse effect when it comes to colon cancer. Don't think you need to cut out imbibing entirely, but try to keep it on the light side, with no more than two drinks per night for men and no more than one for women.

The Cooper University Health Care’s state-of-the-art Gastrointestinal Cancer Center takes a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. This means that each patient has an entire team of doctors and other medical professionals at work on his or her behalf. By combining the skills and knowledge of specialists in related fields, MD Anderson Cooper physicians can determine the optimal regimen of care for each individual case.

For more tips and useful insights on reducing your colon cancer risk, join Cooper University Health Care's Colon Cancer: Prevention, Detection and Treatment Options Webinar on March 29. Register here.

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