Knowing Risk Factors Can Prevent Colon Cancer

Jul 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Colorectal cancer is the third biggest cancer killer in the United States, killing an estimated 50,000 people every year, according to the American Caner Society.

It doesn't have to be that way. Early detection can reduce the colon-cancer death toll through prevention and treatment.

Regular colonoscopies can catch before they have a chance to turn into cancer. Head of at National Jewish Health, Phillip Hanna, MD, recommends that people with no identified should begin regular colonoscopies at age 50. Those who have risk factors for colon cancer should be screened earlier and more frequently.

Dr. Hanna identifies the following risk factors for colorectal cancer, which suggest earlier and more frequent detection efforts:

Family history. Colon cancer is known to be passed down genetically, so if your family has a history of colon cancer it is important that you get screened in your 40s.

• • Race. The highest incidence and death rates of colon cancer are seen in African Americans. Dr. Hanna recommends that all African Americans, both men and women, begin screening for colon cancer at age 45.

Smoking. Mounting evidence suggests that smoking increases the risk of colon cancer.

Diet. Studies show that diets that are heavy in red and processed meats and low in fruits, vegetables and grains are associated with a higher incidence of colon cancer.

Lifestyle. People who exercise regularly appear seem to have a decreased risk of . Conversely, inactive lifestyles may be associated with an increased risk.

Explore further: The war on leukemia: How the battle for cell production could be decisive

Provided by National Jewish Health

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Family history and screening for colorectal cancer

Jun 09, 2008

A new study indicates that African Americans with a family history of colorectal cancer are less likely to be screened than African Americans at average risk for the disease. There is also some evidence to indicate that AA ...

Colon cancer link to obesity uncovered

Sep 30, 2008

A new study reveals the first-ever genetic link between obesity and colon cancer risk, a finding that could lead to greater accuracy in testing for the disease, said a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham ...

Celebrex may slow colon cancer

Aug 31, 2006

Two U.S. studies say Pfizer's painkiller Celebrex can slow the recurrence of polyps in the colon for those at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0