What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. Other risk factors include having—
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
- A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
- Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:
- Lack of regular physical activity.
- A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet, or a diet high in processed meats.
- Overweight and obesity.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Tobacco use.
What can you do to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer?
Overall, the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened for colorectal cancer routinely, beginning at age 45.
Research is underway to find out if changes to your diet can reduce your colorectal cancer risk. Medical experts often recommend a diet low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes. This diet also may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers are looking at the role of some medicines and supplements in preventing colorectal cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that taking low-dose aspirin can help prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in some adults, depending on age and risk factors. For more information, download Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Colorectal Cancer: Preventive Medication
Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco.
Join the South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) to become more informed of cancer control activities in South Carolina.
- Find opportunities to collaborate with new partners.
- Receive communications updates.
- Become a part of local, state, and nationwide efforts to reduce the cancer burden.
For more information call (803) 708-4732 or visit www.sccancer.org