Prevention of rectal cancer

Rectal cancer, Numerous scientific studies have shown a connection between diet and the risk of colorectal cancer in the past.

How rectal cancer is prevented

Primary prophylaxis: The lifestyle makes a lot of

The adenoma and thus colon cancer can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. The diet, a healthy body weight and physical activities have a particularly high share of it. It is believed that maintaining a healthy lifestyle could prevent 50 to 70 percent of all colorectal cancers.

Healthy diet

Numerous scientific studies have shown a connection between diet and the risk of colorectal cancer in the past. A high percentage of fiber through fruits and vegetables, fish and minerals such as calcium in the daily diet can therefore protect against colon cancer. Flavonoids from green tea and chamomile prevent the development of cancer. Regular consumption of red meat (eg pork, beef, game) and processed meat (eg sausages, salted meats) and regular high alcohol consumption are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.


Overweight and obesity, especially if they are accompanied by a lot of belly fat, increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The causes of this effect have not yet been finally clarified. Questioning changes in fat and sugar metabolism come through the increased body fat, but also the influence of various hormones such as insulin and steroid hormones, further factors that influence the growth of tissues such as the insulin growth factor (insulin-like growth factor 1), and changes in the immune reactions. It is always recommended to maintain a healthy body weight with as little as possible of belly fat.

Prevention of rectal cancer

Physical exercise

A lot of physical activity prevents the development of adenomas and colon cancer and has a favorable effect on the course and prognosis of a disease. For malignant tumors of the colon, this relationship is clearly proven: For example, intensive physical activity of more than seven hours per week reduces the risk of colon carcinoma by 40 percent. It is still unclear what effect sport has on the development of rectal cancer: individual studies have been able to observe similar effects here as in colon carcinoma, but in other studies there were no benefits from physical activity.

Why sport can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer is still being discussed among experts. It is thought that potential cancer cells die as a result of the intense movement. In addition, tumor suppressor genes are expected to form, suppressing the growth of cancer cells. Particularly favorable are obviously endurance sports, for which much energy is needed, such as swimming, cycling, dancing or jogging.

Secondary Prophylaxis: Regular Screening

Check-ups are another pillar of colorectal cancer prevention. (LINK to the section “Early detection”) They aim to detect not only early colorectal cancer, but already its precursors, the so-called adenomas. These can be removed immediately during the colonoscopy, so that no more cancer can develop from it. Experts believe that colorectal cancer can be prevented by regular check-ups in 75 to 90 percent of all cases. Individuals who are at increased risk for colorectal cancer due to familial bias, hereditary changes or certain illnesses have special recommendations regarding screening (“Early detection”).
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