When confronted with the uncertainty of cancer, it is human nature to want to know everything there is to know about the disease. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are affected by a colon and rectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women and men. Thanks to routine suggested screenings, colorectal cancer are one of the most treatable diseases. One of the effective ways to help reduce the risks is by knowing your family history and sharing it with your Astoria colon and rectal cancer specialist.
Risk factors for colon and rectal cancer
A risk factor raises your chances of contracting a disease like cancer. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be altered. Others are permanent, such as a person’s age or family history. Though, carrying one or more risk factors does not guarantee that the condition will develop. Furthermore, some persons who get the disease have no known risk factors. A variety of risk factors have been found that enhance the likelihood of colorectal cancer occurring in a person.
Irreversible colon and rectal cancer risk factors
1. History of colorectal cancer in the family
Adults who have never had colorectal cancer in their families are more likely to be diagnosed. Despite this, one out of every three people who get colorectal cancer has a family member who has been diagnosed with the disease. Those with a close family member (parent, sibling, or child) with colon and rectal cancer are more likely to have the ailment. If that relative was diagnosed with cancer before 50, the chances are even higher.
2. Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
You will likely develop colorectal cancer if you have inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), like ulcerative colitis. IBD is a long-term inflammatory condition in which the colon becomes inflamed. Dysplasia is frequent in persons with long-term IBD, especially if left untreated. Cells in the colon or rectum wall that seem abnormal but are not cancerous are referred to as dysplasia. They have the chance to become cancerous in the future.
3. Being older
As you become older, your probability of developing colorectal cancer increases. It can affect younger persons, but it becomes considerably more frequent beyond 50.
4. Having a genetic syndrome
About 5% of persons with colorectal cancer have acquired gene alterations (mutations) that cause cancer syndromes in their families and contribute to the disease. Lynch syndrome is the most frequent hereditary syndrome connected to colorectal cancer.
Reversible colorectal cancer risk factors
Several lifestyle factors have been associated with colorectal cancer. The links between food, weight, physical activity, and the risk of colorectal cancer are strongest of any cancer type. The following are some of the lifestyle aspects that may raise the risk of colon and rectal cancer:
- Lacking regular physical activity.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Consumption of alcohol.
- Tobacco consumption.
- Lacking fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Having a diet high in fat, low in fiber, or high in processed meats.
Screening is beneficial in diagnosing the early stages of colorectal cancer. Schedule an appointment with Surgical Specialists of NY by contacting the office or booking online.