Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer.
Colorectal cancer starts in either the colon or the rectum, both of which make up the lower part of the digestive tract.
Men and women are equally at risk of getting it and it is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
It is important to be aware of the circumstances which can increase risk of diagnosis.
Researchers assert that people 50 years or older are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer tends to run in families; therefore people should be conscious of their family or personal history. Furthermore, research shows that people with African American or Jewish ancestry are at a higher risk.
Other characteristics that can increase risk are having had polyps found on previous colonoscopies, having type 2 diabetes, and having Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Researchers also emphasize that there are ways to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer.
It is important to eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while eating less red and processed meats. Exercising regularly and watching your weight are also important in reducing risk.
Other ways to reduce risk include quitting or not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
Finally experts urge people to get their screenings for colorectal cancer on time which should begin at age 50.
For those at average risk and no polyps, a screening is recommended every ten years. Immediate family members of those diagnosed with colon cancer should have a screening ten years before age that their family member was diagnosed.
It is important to be regularly tested for colorectal cancer because screening can often find growth called polyps which can be removed before they become cancer.
There is a 90% risk reduction in developing colon cancer by having a colonoscopy and polyp removal is recommended.