Colon Cancer Prevention

Preventing colorectal cancer — take charge of your life

You can take steps to reduce your risk for developing colorectal cancer — and prevent the disease altogether.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle and getting regular screenings are important ways you can take charge of your health and reduce your risk for colorectal cancer, and other cancers, too. What you can do:

  • Get a colonoscopy. Screening with colonoscopy has the advantage of detecting polyps and removing them before they have a chance to become malignant. Most people at average risk should begin routine colorectal screening at age 45. Learn more about when and how often you should undergo colorectal cancer screening.
  • Avoid all tobacco products. If you smoke, quit now. As many as 20% of cases of colorectal cancer have been linked to smoking. Find the support and guidance you need by calling the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at Roswell Park at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), or visit for more information.
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day for men; one drink a day for women
  • Eat a high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and reduce your consumption of fats and red meat
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Learn whether you’re at high risk and if so, seek appropriate risk management and surveillance through Roswell Park’s High-Risk Colorectal Program.