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Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors   

It is estimated at 5.3% the overall risk for developing colorectal cancer; three persons out fifty seven will have colorectal cancer in their lifetime. Many factors seem to contribute to the occurrence of the disease:  

  • Geography - the incidence of colorectal cancer is higher in industrialized countries. 
  • Age - almost 90% of colorectal cancer occur among people over 50 years old.  
  • Sex - although the disease affects both men and women, the frequency of colorectal cancer is slightly higher among men. 
  • Intestinal diseases - some inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn's disease (also called granulomatous colitis or regional enteritis) and ulcerative colitis increase the risk of developing colon cancer.  
  • Diabetes - many studies have shown that colorectal cancer is more common among type 2 diabetics than people who are not diabetic.  
  • Diet - if you want to decrease your chances of colorectal cancer, it is necessary to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. In addition, you need to reduce or completely eliminate red meat, grilled meats, trans fats and saturated fats in your diet:  
  • Obesity - medical conditions that can result from obesity or overweight are enormous. In fact, it is believed that obesity may play a role in the development of all type of cancers including but not limited to: esophageal cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer and kidney cancer.  
  • Smoking - cigarette smoke (including second hand) and chewing tobacco are major causative factors for many types of cancers. Your risk is higher if you start smoking at young age.  
  • Personal or family history of colorectal cancer - If you or your family members have a history of colorectal cancer or polyps your chance of developing the disease is higher than people who do not.  
  • Genetics - studies have shown that some victims of colorectal cancer can contract the disease due to hereditary predisposition. However, this is rare; over 75% of cases of colorectal cancer have nothing to do with familial predisposition. The two most common forms of colorectal cancer that are related to genetic factors are hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (also called HNPCC or Lynch syndrome), accounts for approximately 5% of colorectal cancers; and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), involves in about 1% of all colorectal cancer cases.  
  • Alcohol - researches have shown a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and cancers of the digestive tract and other organs of the body: colon cancer, rectal cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, pharyngeal cancer, and even breast cancer. Moderate or occasional alcohol consumption presents no risk.  
  • Physical inactivity - in addition to cardiovascular disease and obesity, physical inactivity is one of the leading factors for the formation of cancerous cells. Regular physical activity, in the other hand, improves your fitness and reduces the risk of a variety of diseases including colorectal cancer.   

 

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