Preventing bowel cancer
NHS ChoicesMedical Reference
There are several ways to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
Research suggests that a low-fat, high- fibre diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and whole grains can help reduce your risk of getting bowel cancer. It can also reduce your risk of other types of cancer and heart disease.
It is recommended that you do not eat a lot of processed meat and red meat. Limit your intake to one or two portions a week.
See the Live Well section about Diet and cancer for more information and advice.
There is a strong body of evidence to suggest that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing bowel cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
A minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, at least five times a week, is recommended. The exercise should be strenuous enough to leave your heart beating faster, and you should feel slightly out of breath afterwards. Examples of vigorous exercise include going for a brisk walk and walking up a hill.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. Changes to your diet and an increase in your physical activities will help to keep your weight under control. Find out if you are a healthy weight with the Healthy weight calculator.
If you smoke, giving up will reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer, as well as many other types of cancer.
The free NHS Smoking Helpline can offer advice and encouragement to help you quit smoking. Call 0800 022 4 332 or visit the NHS Smokefree website.
Your GP or pharmacist can also give you help, support and advice if you want to give up smoking.