Risk for Colon Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society (as of March 2008)
the following are risk factors for colon cancer.
Age: The chances of having colorectal cancer go up after age 50.
Having had polyps or colorectal cancer before
Having a history of bowel disease
Family history of colorectal cancer
Race or ethnic background: Some racial and ethnic groups such as African Americans and Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have a higher colorectal cancer risk. All of the reasons for this are not yet understood.
The links between diet, weight, and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.
Certain types of diets: A diet that is high in red meats (beef, lamb, or liver) and processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, and lunch meat can increase your colorectal cancer risk. Cooking meats at very high heat (frying, broiling, or grilling) can create chemicals that might increase cancer risk.
Lack of exercise
Overweight: Being very overweight increases a person's risk of dying from colorectal cancer.
Smoking: Most people know that smoking causes lung cancer, but long-time smokers are more likely than non-smokers to die of colorectal cancer. Smoking increases the risk of many other cancers, too.
Alcohol: Heavy use of alcohol has been linked to colorectal cancer.
Diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes have an increased chance of getting colorectal cancer. They also tend to have a higher death rate from this cancer.
Risk factors that are less certain
Night-shift work: One study suggests that working a night shift at least 3 nights a month for at least 15 years might increase the risk of colorectal cancer in women. More research is needed to check out this finding.
Other cancers and their treatment: A recent report on testicular cancer survivors found that these men had a higher rate of colorectal cancer. Men who receive radiation therapy for prostate cancer have been reported to have a higher risk of rectal cancer, too.
The American Cancer Society and several other medical organizations recommend earlier testing for people with increased colorectal cancer risk.
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The information above is not medical advice.
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