Did you know that colon cancer is the second cause of cancer-related deaths in the US? This only means that this form of cancer is a really deadly one. By the way, if cancer affects not only the colon or large intestine but also the rectum, it is then referred to as “colorectal cancer”.
Medical doctors say that the best way to deal with colon cancer is early detection of the disease as treating it can be very difficult once it reaches its late stages. And the best way to have it identified as soon as possible is a screening.
Knowing some of the risk factors — things that increase your risk of developing a disease — for colon cancer is a good idea because it lets you know whether you are at high risk of having it one day or not. Some individuals are born with certain risk factors, while other risk factors are due to some lifestyle and dietary choices — meaning you can ditch them to have your odds of having colon cancer considerably reduced.
Here are some risk factors for colon cancer that you can do nothing about:
Medical experts say that your risk of having colon cancer increases the older you get. The said disease is more common in people who are 50 years of age and older.
Race and ethnicity
African Americans are known to be at higher risk of having colon cancer. Asians, on the other hand, are known to be at lower risk of it.
Colon cancer, just like most other forms of cancer, tends to run in families. If you have a parent or sibling diagnosed with colon cancer, then your risk of developing it may double or even triple.
According to medical experts, 1 in every 4 cases of colon cancer is linked to the genes. Certain mutations in the genes are known to increase colon cancer risk.
Just because you have the above risk factors for colon cancer does not necessarily mean that you are bound to suffer from this form of cancer. Actually, some people who are diagnosed with colon cancer did not have these risk factors. Then there are also cases in which people who have the above risk factors do not have colon cancer.
Now let’s take a look at some risk factors for colon cancer that you can deal with, which means that turning your back on them can help considerably lower your odds of having to battle colon cancer:
Because toxins flood your system if you smoke cigarettes, your chance of having colon cancer as well as other types of cancer is increased significantly. Cigarette smoking is also known to put you at risk of having polyps, which are small growths on the lining of the large intestine that can become malignant.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It’s no secret that moderate amounts of alcohol (a serving a day if you’re a female and up to 2 servings a day if you’re a male) comes with a number of health benefits. If you take it excessively, then you are at risk of having colon cancer as well as many other different health nightmares.
Poor Eating Habits
Studies have shown time and again that a diet that’s high in fat and cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of having colon cancer as it can cause cellular mutation. On the other hand, a diet that contains good amounts of fiber- and antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables is known to help lower colon cancer risk.
Having a Sedentary Lifestyle
If you’re not getting your regular dose of exercise, then you may be courting colon cancer. Medical doctors say that having an active lifestyle is one of the best ways to keep all sorts of cancer types at bay, including that which affects the colon. Being on your feet rather than sitting on the couch most of the time can help keep colon cancer at bay.
Last but not least, having excess pounds is considered by the experts as a risk factor for colon cancer. Two of the things that usually contribute to obesity, which are poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, have already been discussed earlier as things that can increase your likelihood of having colon cancer.