A healthy lifestyle can keep your colon healthy

stock photo of people living healthy lifestyles

A healthy lifestyle and getting screened regularly can help prevent colon cancer. Here’s what you can do to stay colon healthy:

  • Eat well.
  • Be active.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Cut down on alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor.
  • Get checked.

Eat well

A healthy body weight keeps your colon healthy. Maintain your weight by eating the right balance of foods with healthy portion sizes and by staying active. Make smart food choices by limiting how much red and processed meats, saturated fats and salt you eat, while eating more vegetables and fruit.

For more information and tips on eating well, see Canada’s Food Guide.


Be active

Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity can keep your colon healthy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood or at the mall. Do some yard work. The more active you are, the lower your risk of cancer is.

For more information and tips on staying active, see Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults.

Don’t smoke

There’s no doubt about it. Smoking is the biggest cause of cancer. Don’t be a smoker and avoid second-hand smoke. If you smoke, quit.

Visit Health Canada Quit Now or the Canadian Cancer Society for help to quit.

Cut down on alcohol

If you choose to drink, limit yourself to a moderate amount. At most, you can enjoy one small drink a day for women and fewer than two small drinks a day for men. The less alcohol you consume, the more lower your risk of cancer is. There is still a limited risk if you drink in small amounts.

Talk to your doctor

Your doctor is your partner to good health and is a great source of information. Your doctor can help you:

  • understand what a healthy body weight means for you
  • quit smoking
  • decide on the best screening test for you

Get checked

Getting screened for colon cancer is the most important thing you can do to prevent colon cancer. Make colon cancer screening part of your regular health routine. It could save your life.

Last updated: March 17, 2017