Dr. Seibel's Health Tips / Health and Fitness

Colon and Rectal Cancer: The Risks and Prevention

Share This Post

In 2013, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 102,480 new cases of colon cancer and half will be in women. The number of cases of rectal cancer is expected to be 40,340. Over a lifetime, 1 in 19 men and 1 in 20 women will get colon cancer. The risk is higher if you have a positive family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. It’s the second leading cause of death in both. But here is the good news “ it’s preventable. That’s right. If you have a colonoscopy beginning at age 50 and regularly after that, the polyps that turn into cancer can be found and removed before colon cancer begins.

Lifestyle Tips to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk


Avoiding tobacco

Eating high fiber grains

Avoiding excess salt and saturated fats

Maintain healthy body weight

Eating fish 1 “ 3 times per week

Bright colored fruits and vegetables

Normal vitamin D level

Estrogen therapy*

*the WHI study found less colon cancer in women taking estrogen

Risk Factors for Colon and Rectal Cancer

≥ 60 years

Eat lots of red meats

Family history of this disease

Colorectal polyps

Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease

Personal history of breast cancer

Lack of exercise? Smoking?

High-fat, low-fiber diet?

Like many cancers, the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding.  Any bleeding from the rectum, especially after menopause, should cause you to call your doctor and find out why.  You can also screen for colon and rectal cancer.  Each year after 40 and definitely after age 50, have a rectal exam and have the stool tested for blood.  This simple test is usually done in your doctor’s office and the results given to you during the exam.  After age 50, it is also advisable to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy (view inside the rectum and lower colon) or colonoscopy on a regular basis to look for any cancer or precancerous growths. People with a high risk for colon cancer should be screened more frequently. If it is found before it has spread, 91% of those treated will survive five years or more.

What cancer-screening tests have you had done? What changes can you make in your diet and behavior to lower your cancer risk?

Until next time,

Dr. Mache Seibel, Founder of My Menopause Magazine http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag

Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Founder My Menopause Magazine




(617) 916-1880

PS: Find more information of this type in My Menopause Magazine, available for the iPad in the Apple Newsstand. http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag

* Please Like and share with your friends.


“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website www.DoctorSeibel.com and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Lost Password


Like Our Page!

Receive our updates via Facebook!
Next Post for You:
The Price is Right for Retirement