Is There A Link Between Heart Disease and Colon Cancer?

February is Heart Awareness Month. If you’re looking for a reason to start the new year off with getting in shape, eating well, and starting an exercise routine, one additional reason you can add to your list is that it can reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Being overweight tends to affect your entire body, and the heart is no exception. If you are one of the millions of Americans who have a heart disease, you are statistically more likely to be affected by other diseases, including colon cancer.

The Evidence

A study conducted at the University of Hong Kong uncovered a statistical relationship between heart disease and colon cancer. Colon cancer was detected in roughly 4% of patients with heart disease, in comparison to the only 1% patients without heart disease. According to The American Heart Association, many heart related problems fall into the broad category of heart disease. Heart disease can include anything from heart attacks and stroke, to irregular heartbeats, to improper circulation due to the heart not pumping blood properly.

What Can I Do?

Since colon cancer and heart disease have common risk factors, these numbers aren’t terribly surprising, but it should be a wake up call to take care of those risk factors that are within your control. These factors include being overweight, heavy smoking or alcohol usage, stress, and drug abuse. Additionally, there are genetic factors that are also a risk, but those are often out of the hands of the patient.

The American Heart Association recommends tackling obesity problems in the same way that any other diseases are handled. It’s crucial to not just focus on one aspect of a weight loss program, but rather to have a whole approach to it, including eating better, exercising, and monitoring your progress with a doctor. And if you are age 50 or over, it’s time to schedule a screening colonoscopy . Our board certified gastroenterologists at TDDC are here to help. You can find a convenient location near you here .