Letter from Mitzi Sackett
Men, put down the hot dog to save your colon!
If you are a man who enjoys hot dogs and sausages, you might want to rethink how much of those you eat. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that men who ate high amounts of ultra-processed food were 29 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer than men who limited the amount they ate. The same connection was not found among women.
Ultra-processed food is defined as ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat meat, poultry, and seafood products, and sugar-sweetened beverages. These foods are usually high in added sugar, fats, and refined starch, which can lead to weight gain and obesity—a risk factor for colorectal cancer. They are often low in fiber, calcium and vitamin D, which are known to help prevent colorectal cancer.
During Men’s Health Month, the Cancer Services Program of The Central Region hopes men will use this information to take positive steps toward preventing colorectal cancer. In addition to swapping out processed foods for more whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, all people can prevent colorectal cancer through regular screening. Screening can find growths (polyps) that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find cancer early when treatment may work best.
If you are aged 45 or older, call your health care provider and ask about colorectal cancer screening. If you do not have insurance, the CSP may be able to help. The CSP provides free colorectal cancer screening to people ages 45 and older who qualify. Call the CSP at (888) 345-0225 or learn more at www.bassett.org/services/cancer-care/cancer-screenings/cancer-services-program.
Public Education/Community Outreach Specialist
Cancer Services Program of The Central Region