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Using Nutrition to Prevent Colon Cancer

Health, Wellness & You
Monday, March 15, 2010

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and one of the most preventable. For that reason, Fort HealthCare is making a special effort during March’s Colon Cancer Awareness Month to convince age-appropriate individuals to receive a first-time screening colonoscopy.

Any eligible patient who schedules and comes in for a colonoscopy before March 31, 2010 will receive a $50 fuel card. Eligible patients who make an appointment before March 31, but receive the procedure between April 1 and May 31 will receive a $10 fuel card. Eligible patients are 1) those over age 50 who are otherwise healthy and have not had a colonoscopy in the past; or 2) those with a family history of colon problems and who have not had a colonoscopy in the past.

When you call to schedule your first colonoscopy before March 31, you’ll be entered to win a three-night Florida Dream Vacation at Captiva Island’s legendary ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort. To be entered to win the Florida Dream Vacation, you must bring to your procedure appointment the postcard you received via mail or printed “Lifetime of
Good Health Promotion PDF” from our website at
Tween Waters vacation is donated by the resort in support of Fort HealthCare’s efforts to raise awareness of colon cancer prevention.

Like many types of cancer, the risk of colon cancer is higher for those with relatives who have had colorectal cancer. Risks may be increased by long-term tobacco use and possibly excessive alcohol use. Some studies show a lower risk of colon cancer among those who are moderately active on a regular basis, and more vigorous activity may even further reduce the risk of colon cancer. Obesity raises the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, but the link seems to be stronger in men. Diets high in vegetables and fruits have been linked to lower risk, and diets high in processed meats and/or red meats have been linked to a higher risk of colon cancer. Fort HealthCare general surgeon, Bill Kontny, MD adds, “Fiber supplements or high fiber diets are important for colon health.” Kontny frequently performs colonoscopies and removes polyps that can cause colon cancer.

Several studies have found that calcium, vitamin D, or a combination of the two may help protect against colorectal cancer. But because of the possible increased risk of prostate cancer with high calcium intake, it may be wise for men to limit their daily calcium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day until further studies are done.

The best advice to reduce the risk of colon cancer is to: 

  • Increase the intensity and duration of physical activity. 
  • Limit intake of processed and red meats. 
  • Get the recommended levels of calcium. 
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits. 
  • Avoid obesity. 
  • Avoid excess alcohol.

In addition, it is very important to follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for regular colorectal screening because finding and removing polyps in the colon can prevent colorectal cancer. To learn more about a Fort HealthCare colonoscopy, visit

To book an appointment with Kontny or general surgeons Jonathon McLaughlin, MD, Marc Erickson, MD or Chris Nervi, MD call Fort HealthCare Surgical Associates at (920) 563-7900. For an appointment with James Wishau, MD, an experienced physician with colonoscopy, endoscopy and internal medicine capabilities, call Fort HealthCare’s Lake Mills Clinic at (920) 648-7683. Appointments available before March 31 are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. If you are not ready to make an appointment at this time, you are welcome to schedule a colonoscopy at anytime throughout the year.

Fort HealthCare participates in most insurance plans. Many insurances offer coverage for most common, age specific screening tests, including colonoscopies. Please consult with your insurance provider if you have questions about coverage. Visit for more information.