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What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

Related Topics: Colon Cancer

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Women's Health
89 Answers
5,159 Helpful Votes

Regular physical activity protects against CRC. We can reduce our risk by as much as 24% if we just get up and get moving. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also protect against CRC. Statins (medication that lowers cholesterol) may affect CRC in a positive way. Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy was shown in the Women’s Health Initiative study to reduce the incidence of CRC. Dietary calcium, magnesium, fish oils, and vitamin B6 all have positive effects in reducing CRC. And non-herbal tea and possibly coffee, a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red and processed meats may all be protective against CRC.

Antioxidants, folic acid, and a diet high in fiber have not been shown to aid in preventing cancer of the colon and rectum. But the following have been shown to increase our risk: obesity, alcohol, cigarette smoking, diabetes and being insulin resistant. Drinking more than 45 grams per day of alcohol increases a person’s life risk for colorectal cancer. If a person’s body mass index (BMI) is over 25, there is a 1.5 fold increase in their risk. Researchers also noted an increase in incidence of CRC, and death from CRC if a person smoked. And in another study that compared those with diabetes and non-diabetics, the risk of CRC was 30% higher for the diabetic group.

Another factor that increases a person’s risk for CRC is inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Inflammation throughout the GI tract may be the culprit, which explains why aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs seem to protect against CRC.

Finally, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you must be observed closely by your doctor. If you are diagnosed with colon polyps, or have family members diagnosed with colorectal cancer before 55 years of age, you should begin aggressive surveillance.

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Read the Original Article: C: Colorectal Cancer