Colon and Rectum Cancer Risk Factors

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 102,480 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually. It is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Increased use of screenings has helped the death rate of colorectal cancer to drop significantly over the last 20 years.

Risk factors include:

  • Being over the age of 50
  • Having a personal or family history of colorectal cancer
  • Having an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Being African American
  • Having type 2 diabetes
  • Being obese
  • Smoking

If you have one or more of these risk facts, you should schedule an appointment with your physician for a screening, which is the best way to catch colorectal cancer before it begins. Types of colorectal cancer screenings include a colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which can be conducted in your own home using a special kit from your doctor.

Learn more about genetic testing for specific types of cancer based on your family history.

Request a referral to one of BayCare's experienced primary care physicians or specialists.