According to research, people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop colon and rectal (colorectal) cancer. While some factors like diet and lifestyle choices can be controlled, others, such as age and family history, cannot.
Because of this, it’s important to have a better understanding of the various factors that can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make more informed lifestyle and screening choices.
Certain risk factors that contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer are within your control. These include:
Other risk factors are entirely out of your control. Risk factors such as these include:
Keep in mind that having one or more risk factors does not mean that you will definitely develop colon or rectal cancer. Likewise, not having risk factors does not mean you will not get it.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about when colorectal cancer screening should begin based on your risk factors. If you are at least 50 years of age and have no known risk factors, consider getting scheduled for a regular colorectal cancer screening.