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Changing Your Diet to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Together, colon and rectal cancers are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.

Did you know that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle combined are the second leading cause of cancer after tobacco use? At VCU Health’s Department of Digestive Health, you will learn how lifestyle factors such as diet play an important role in preventing most cancers, especially colon and rectal cancers.

Dietary Changes Reduce Risk of Cancer

Eating a diet high in fiber and vegetables and limiting consumption of processed or red meat, to no more than once a week, may help lower your risk of colon or rectal cancer. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified processed meat as a carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) and warned that red meat is a probable carcinogen. Processed meat is a meat that has gone through a chemical process to increase its shelf life. Examples of processed meats are smoked meats, jerky and hot dogs.