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The Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Last updated 3 years ago

Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectum that is usually caused by health problems attributed to bad diet. Obesity—especially in men—and heavy meat consumption can put one at risk, as can habits like drinking and smoking. Age and various genetic factors are also linked to the disease. Here is a closer look at the risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Dietary Risks

Eating greasy foods with a high fat content, including red meat like beef, pork, and lamb and processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna, can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer, especially when such meats are fried or broiled at high temperatures. On the other hand, foods high in vitamins and other nutrients, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Genetic Risks

The chances of developing colorectal cancer increase with age. According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 90 percent of those diagnosed are over age 50. A family history of colorectal cancer, adenomatous polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease, or any personal history of the last two, can also put you more at risk for developing colorectal cancer. Conditions such as Turcot syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and type 2 diabetes could also make you more prone to developing colorectal cancer.

Speculated Risks

For reasons that have not been identified, African-Americans and Jewish individuals of East-European ancestry have accounted for a disproportionate number of colorectal cancer cases. There have also been less conclusive studies that have linked the disease—especially among women—to semi-regular night-shift work over a significant span of years. Men who've survived cancers of the testicles or prostate might also be more prone to colorectal cancer; this has been partly attributed to radiation treatments for the other cancers.

If you are concerned about your own risks of developing colorectal cancer, speak with the healthcare specialists at South Bay Hospital. Our staff provides comprehensive cancer care and treatment services for residents throughout Sun City Center. For more information about our services, call us at (888) 685-1595.



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