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Doctor shares 5 tips to significantly reduce the risk of bowel cancer

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Dr Robin Clarke shares five top tips that “really affect” a person’s risk of developing a fatal disease. “There are a few simple lifestyle changes that people can adapt that will make a real difference,” he said. Two examples include “increase [your] consumption of fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Robin.

The World Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) supported Dr. Robin’s recommendation because “vegetables and fruits may protect against cancers of the mouth, throat, and digestive tract.”

The WCRF explained: “Vegetables and fruits provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and other substances known as phytochemicals.”

Hence, these treats are thought to “protect the body’s cells from damage that can lead to cancer.”

“Different types of vegetables and fruits contain different phytochemicals, so it’s best to eat different foods every day,” the organization says.

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Dr Robin also suggested that people would benefit from increased consumption of “high fiber foods”.

Cancer research also acknowledges that “a healthy, balanced diet high in whole grains and fiber may help reduce the risk of bowel cancer.”

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as beans and lentils.

Eating fiber-rich whole grains “may help lower your risk of cancer,” which is found in:

  • Whole grain breads, pasta and rice
  • Chopped whole grain and bran flakes or oatmeal
  • Skin on vegetables such as potatoes and carrots
  • Nuts and seeds.
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Moving away from food and focusing on fluid intake, Dr. Robin warns against drinking alcohol.

The UK National Health Service confirms that there is no safe drinking limit, but low-risk drinking in the UK is considered to be less than 14 units per week.

In addition to “minimizing alcohol consumption,” Dr. Robin advises people to maintain a “healthy weight.”

The National Health Service offers a free body mass index (BMI) calculator that requires you to measure your height and weight, which can be a rough indication of whether you’re at a healthy weight.

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Another useful tool for determining a healthy weight is measuring your waist.

For this, the NHS says:

  1. Locate the bottom of the ribs and the top of the thighs.
  2. Wrap the measuring tape around your waist midway between these points.
  3. Exhale naturally before measuring.

Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waistline is:

  • 94 cm (37 inches) or more for men
  • 80 cm (31.5 inches) or more for women.

By following Dr. Robin’s five tips, you will “reduce the risk of problems in the future.”

Five tips from Dr. Robin:

  1. Eat fruit
  2. eat vegetables
  3. Eat foods rich in fiber
  4. Minimize your alcohol intake
  5. Maintain a healthy weight.

Dr. Robin said: “Thinking about or talking about your toilet habits may make you uncomfortable, but in the long run, being in tune with your gut can save your life.

“If something looks or feels wrong, or you notice some unexplained change, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately, no matter your age.

“When detected early, 98 percent of people with bowel cancer survive for a year or more, compared with nearly half that number when the disease is diagnosed at its most advanced stage.

“That’s why it’s also important to attend cancer screening invitations.”

Dr. Robin Clark is the Medical Director of Bupa Insurance Company.

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