Before knowing the risk factors, one should know that having risk factors, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may have no known risk factors. Many lifestyle factors have been linked to colorectal cancer. In fact, the associations between diet, weight, and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are among the strongest for any type of cancer. If you are overweight or obese (very overweight), your risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer is higher.
Being overweight increases the risk of colon and rectal cancer in both men and women, but the link seems to be stronger in men. Regular moderate to vigorous physical activity, if you are not physically active, can help reduce your risk. A diet that is high in red meat (like beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (like hot dogs and some lunch meats) increases your risk of colorectal cancer.
Cooking meat at very high temperatures (frying, broiling or grilling) creates chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. It’s not clear how much it might increase your risk of colorectal cancer. People who have smoked tobacco for a long time are more likely than those who do not smoke and die of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer has been linked to moderate to heavy alcohol use. Even light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with some increased risk. If you have a history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas), you are at increased risk of getting colorectal cancer. This is especially true if the polyps are large, if there are many of them, or if any of them show dysplasia.
If you have had colorectal cancer, even if it is completely removed, you are more likely to develop new cancers in other parts of the colon and rectum. This is more likely to happen if you had your first colorectal cancer when you were younger.
Your risk of colorectal cancer is increased if you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease—if you have IBD, you may need to start screening for colorectal cancer when you’re younger. Are checked more often . Please note: Inflammatory bowel disease is different from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which does not increase your risk for colorectal cancer.
Family history of colon cancer: Most colorectal cancers occur in people who do not have a family history of colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, 1 in 3 people who develop colorectal cancer have another family member who has had it. People with a history of colorectal cancer in a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) are at increased risk.