By Dr. Michele C. Reed,
NCBW Long Island Health Committee Chair
As we celebrate March for Colorectal Cancer month I would like to also discuss obesity. Some of you are probably wondering how they are related but you have to continue reading.
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and the rectum. Studies show that African Americans have the highest rate of colorectal cancer followed by whites and Hispanics. African American women are more likely to die from colorectal cancer compared to any other race of women.
What we can control are some of the risks factors for colorectal cancer!
- If you have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps make sure that you are properly screened.
- Celebrate turning fifty years old with a colonoscopy and follow up with your gastroenterologist as directed.
- Incorporate a low fiet and high fiber diet into your lifestyle.
- Stop smoking cigarettes and avoid a heavy use of alcohol.
- If you are obese, I encourage you to lose weight and reduce the risk dying from colon cancer.
As we approach spring, it is imperative that you have a plan to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Recent statistics show that over 70% of African American men are overweight or obese and 77% of African American women.
I applaud some of the members of National Coalition of 100 Black Women Long Island Chapter, Inc. who accepted the Team Breakthrough Challenge to start an exercise program and adopt a healthier dietary intake. These ladies have a jump on decreasing their risk of not only colorectal cancer but Prediabetes, Diabetes, Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia. It is not too late to make a change in how you are living and eating! Are you up for the challenge?