Risk factors of colorectal cancer vary, but awareness, screening and healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce the chances of developing the disease. Some important factors to consider include:
- Polyps: Finding and removing polyps early in their formation can help prevent the growths from potentially becoming cancerous.
- Family History: Immediate family members who have been diagnosed with colon cancer increase one’s chances of developing the disease. Screening for early detection is critical and may
- Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis: These diseases cause chronic inflammation of the colon. Many years of this inflammation can sometimes lead to the development of cancerous cells in the colon or rectum.
- Cigarettes and Alcohol: A person smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol regularly is at an increased risk for developing Colorectal Cancer.
- Diet and Exercise: A high fat (particularly animal fat), low fiber diet can result in abnormal cell growth in the colon. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of maintaining a healthy colon, along with exercise. Physical activity and a healthy weight alone can help reduce cancer risk by up to 50 percent.