Colorectal cancer: Avoid red meat and alcohol consumption as they may increase risk

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world, people are giving more attention to their health, lifestyle, and choices. Among the many diseases that have brought fear in people, colorectal cancer (CRC) is one that currently needs urgent attention.

Dr Rahulkumar Chavan, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi was quoted as saying by The Indian Express that Colorectal Cancer can be attributed to the “negative impact of changing lifestyle and food habits”.

Colorectal cancer has at times been termed a 'western lifestyle disease'. Dr Chavan was further quoted as saying that the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, processed meat, and low physical activity are its common causes.

This disease is currently on rise especially among people under the age of 50. As per a new research, eating a lot of red meat and consuming heavy alcohol may play a role in its surge.

In recent years, colorectal cancer cases have increased significantly making it the third most common cancer in the world with over 1.8 million new cases as per the World Cancer Research Fund.

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells are formed in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. As the colon is a part of our digestive system, the food we eat passes along the digestive area. As the food passes, the nutrients within it get absorbed. Meanwhile, the colon, which is also called the large intestine, turns the liquid of unused food into solid by absorbing water. It is then later expelled as stool.

Usually, patients who are infected with this cancer complain of symptoms such as:

- repeated history of constipation or diarrhea

- bloating

- blood or mucus in the stool

- unexplained weight loss

- easy fatigability

- pain or swelling in the abdomen

- drop in hemoglobin levels

People with a family history of colorectal cancer may have these complaints in their 20s, too.

To prevent this cancer, people should follow these tips:

- Avoid heavy smoking and alcohol consumption.

- Try avoiding high-calorie foods, especially red and processed meat.

- It is advisable to perform regular exercises for at least 30 minutes in your day-to-day life.

- People who suffer from colorectal cancer need to maintain healthy body weight to minimise the risk

- Whenever you eat, have a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Usually, a high-fibre diet reduces the risk of CRC and also for heart diseases