High Risks for Colorectal Cancer

The Physicians Committee

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Reduce Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Cancer can seem overwhelming and mysterious, but there are a lot of simple things you can do to improve prevention:

1) Reduce your consumption of red and processed meat products.

2) Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods.

3) Get screened early, especially if there is a family history of colon cancer.

4) Increase your physical activity level.

5) Quit smoking. Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colorectal cancer.

6) Limit alcohol intake. Colorectal cancer has been linked to heavy use of alcohol.

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Processed meat is so closely linked to colorectal cancer that no amount is safe for consumption. But, according to the American Cancer Society, there are other risk factors to consider:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Personal history of colorectal polyps.
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBD).
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Being overweight. Obesity raises the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, and more in men.
  • Smoking.
  • African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the U.S.
  • Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have some of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world.


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