Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Knowing your Risk of Colorectal Cancer

When it comes to colorectal cancer, there is a list of factors that can leave one at an increased risk for developing it. In light of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the health experts at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital are here to outline some of the most important risk factors.

Age

When it comes to the risk of developing colorectal cancer, age is the most prevalent risk factor. In fact, roughly 90% of cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in adults over the age of 50.

Family History

Although most cases of colorectal cancer are found in those without a family history of the chronic health condition—1 in 3 patients also had a close family member who previously had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

If you have a first-degree relative like a parent, sibling, or child who has had a history of colorectal cancer, you are also at an increased risk.

Having Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)

Irritable bowel diseases (IBDs) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis also increase the likelihood that you will develop colorectal cancer. For those living with IBD, there is inflammation to the colon and rectum that can lead to dysplasia—which means that the lining of these organs is abnormal. These cellular abnormalities can turn cancerous over time.

Inactivity

Leading an inactive and sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing a multitude of health issues, including colorectal cancer. This is because being overweight or obese significantly increases your risk of having and dying from colorectal cancer.

Other Factors

Other factors that can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking and using tobacco products
  • Personal history of polyps
  • Previously having colorectal cancer
  • Lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS)
  • MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
  • Type 2 diabetes

Primary Care in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of highly trained and experienced family physicians is dedicated to providing services to patients of all ages in Ridgecrest and surrounding areas. To learn more about our primary care services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (760) 446-3551 (Mon-Fri 8 AM-4:30 PM).