Risk Factors for Colorectal cancer
|About risk factors: Risk factors for Colorectal cancer are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for Colorectal cancer makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to Colorectal cancer. Also, the absence of any risk factors or having a protective factor does not necessarily guard you against getting Colorectal cancer. For general information and a list of risk factors, see the risk center.|
Risk factor list: The list of risk factors mentioned for Colorectal cancer in various sources includes:
- Age - more common over 50.
- Race - African-American and Hispanic peoples are at higher risk.
- Colon polyps
- Familial polyposis
- Previous history of colorectal cancer
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterus cancer
- Breast cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Lack of physical activity
- Tobacco use
- Environmental toxins
- Occupational toxins
Risk factors discussion: No one knows for sure what causes colorectal cancer. But there are certain risk factors that can increase a person's chances of getting or dying from this type of cancer:
Ethnicity/Race - People of African-American and Hispanic descent are often diagnosed at a later stage of disease and have a higher death rate.
Age - People over the age of 50 tend to get this cancer more often than younger persons do. But, it can happen at any age.
Diet - Colorectal cancer appears to be linked to diets high in fat and calories and low in fiber. Researchers are looking at how diet plays a role in colorectal cancer.
Polyps - are benign (not cancerous) growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum. Many people over age 50 have polyps. Some types of polyps, called adenomatous polyps, can become cancers. Between 5 and 10% of adenomatous polyps will become cancer if not removed.
A rare form of polyps that runs in families, called familial polyposis, almost always becomes cancer. This condition causes hundreds of polyps to form in the colon and rectum. In these cases, there are treatments that can be done at a young age to prevent cancer from developing.
Personal medical history - Women who have had cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast have a somewhat greater chance of getting colorectal cancer. A person who has had colorectal cancer once can get it again. A person who has had polyps in the colon or rectum is also at increased risk for this cancer.
Family medical history - "First-degree" relatives (parents, sisters, brothers, children) of a person who has had colorectal cancer are somewhat more likely to get this type of cancer. The risk is even greater if the relative had the cancer at a young age. Risk is increased even more if many family members have had colorectal cancer. There are genetic tests available for people whose family has a certain pattern of cancer.
Inflammatory bowel disease - is a condition in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed, or irritated. Having this condition increases a person's chances of getting colorectal cancer. The most common kinds of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis.
Lifestyle - The couch potato lifestyle (no exercise), being overweight (obesity), drinking alcohol, and smoking may increase a person's chances for getting colorectal cancer.
Long-term exposure to environmental or occupational toxins (poisons) may increase a person's risk for colorectal cancer.
Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop colorectal cancer. It just increases your chances. Talk with your health care provider about what you can do to lower your risk for colorectal cancer.1
Long-term heavy drinking increases the risk of developing certain forms of cancer, especially cancer of the esophagus, mouth, throat, and voice box. Women are at slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer if they drink two or more drinks per day. Drinking may also increase the risk for developing cancer of the colon and rectum. 2
Smoking may also increase the likelihood of developing cancers of the stomach, liver, prostate, colon, and rectum. The risk of cancer begins to decrease soon after a smoker quits, and the risk continues to decline gradually each year after quitting.3
Some evidence suggests a link between a high-fat diet and certain cancers, such as cancers of the colon, uterus, and prostate. Being seriously overweight may be linked to breast cancer among older women and to cancers of the prostate, pancreas, uterus, colon, and ovary. On the other hand, some studies suggest that foods containing fiber and certain nutrients may help protect against some types of cancer.3
The exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known. However, studies show that the following risk factors increase a person's chances of developing colorectal cancer:
Age. Colorectal cancer is more likely to occur as people get older. This disease is more common in people over the age of 50. However, colorectal cancer can occur at younger ages, even, in rare cases, in the teens.
Diet. Colorectal cancer seems to be associated with diets that are high in fat and calories and low in fiber. Researchers are exploring how these and other dietary factors play a role in the development of colorectal cancer.
Polyps. Polyps are benign growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum. They are fairly common in people over age 50. Some types of polyps increase a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer.
A rare, inherited condition, called familial polyposis, causes hundreds of polyps to form in the colon and rectum. Unless this condition is treated, familial polyposis is almost certain to lead to colorectal cancer.
Personal medical history. Research shows that women with a history of cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast have a somewhat increased chance of developing colorectal cancer. Also, a person who has already had colorectal cancer may develop this disease a second time.
Family medical history. First-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) of a person who has had colorectal cancer are somewhat more likely to develop this type of cancer themselves, especially if the relative had the cancer at a young age. If many family members have had colorectal cancer, the chances increase even more.
Ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed. Having this condition increases a person's chance of developing colorectal cancer.
|Risk Factors Associated with Colorectal
Having one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee that a person will develop colorectal cancer. It just increases the chances. People may want to talk with a doctor about these risk factors. The doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce the chance of developing colorectal cancer and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.4
Risks factors for Colorectal cancer: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to risk factors for Colorectal cancer:
- 17 substances added to Americaís list of carcinogens
- 60% of at risk Americans over 50 havenít been screened for colorectal cancer.
- Calcium is a vital mineral in our diets
- Cancer deaths take over deaths caused by heart disease
- Colorectal cancer risk reduced in women through calcium consumption
- Diabetes and sugar level linked to risk of cancer death
- Exercise may improve cancer recover and reduce risk of reoccurrence
- How much is really known about the safety of statins
- New Dietary Guidelines support numerous research results
- Patients need to be more aware of the effectiveness of various colorectal cancer screening options
- Promising drugs raise dilemma of whether benefits outweigh the risks
- Studies provide more information about relationship between diet and cancer
1. excerpt from Colorectal Cancer: NWHIC
2. excerpt from Alcohol What You Don't Know Can Harm You: NIAAA
3. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer - An Overview: NCI
4. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Colon and Rectum: NCI
Medical Tools & Articles:
- Risk Factor Center
- Medical Statistics Center
- Medical Treatment Center
- Prevention Center
- Medical Tests Center