Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States, excluding skin cancer. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s best to talk to your doctor. It may be nothing, but it’s worth checking for peace of mind.
The National Cancer Network recommends regular screening starting at age 50. Learn more about colon cancer screening at UnityPoint Health – St Luke’s Hospital.
First, it’s important to understand the risk factors. Many lifestyle factors are associated with colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the link between diet, weight, and exercise and colon cancer risk is the strongest of any type of cancer.
There is evidence that colon cancer is hereditary. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 people with colon cancer have a family member with it. If you have a family history of adenomatous polyps or colon cancer, talk to your doctor about the need for screening before age 50.
Nassif Community Cancer Center’s Genetics and Risk Assessment Clinic provides one-on-one counseling, risk assessment, genetic testing, and follow-up for anyone identified as being at risk for cancer.
Colon cancer risk increases with age. Young people can get it, but it’s more common after age 50.
Overweight or obesity
Obesity increases the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, but the association is stronger in men.
People who do not exercise are more likely to develop colon cancer than those who do. People who do not exercise are more likely to develop colon cancer than those who do.
A diet rich in red and/or processed meat increases the risk of colon cancer. It is not known whether other components of the diet, such as fat, affect the risk of colon cancer.
Smoking is a cause of lung cancer, but it is also associated with many other types of cancer, including colon cancer. Learn about UnityPoint Health – If you want to learn more about smoking and quitting, St. Smoking cessation services at Luke’s.
Drinking a lot of alcohol
Colorectal cancer is associated with moderate alcohol consumption. Limiting drinks to no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women has health benefits, including reducing the risk of many types of cancer.