Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is as common in women as it is in men. Several screening tests detect colorectal cancer early, when it can be more easily and successfully treated.
Are you at risk?
COLORECTAL CANCER RISK FACTORS
- People age 50 and older
- People who smoke
- People who are overweight or obese, especially those who carry fat around their waists
- People who aren’t physically active
- People who drink alcohol in excess, especially men
- People who eat a lot of red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) or processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts)
- People with personal or family histories of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
- People with personal histories of inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- People with family histories of inherited colorectal cancer or inherited colorectal problems
Although a leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, if detected early, colorectal cancer can be more easily and successfully treated.
COLORECTAL CANCER PREVENTION
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes, at least five days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit.
- If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man.
- Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help you get and stay healthy.
- Eat less red meat and cut out processed meat.
COLORECTAL CANCER EARLY PREVENTION
If you’re at average risk for colorectal cancer, start getting screened at age 50. If you’re at higher risk, you may need to start regular screening at an earlier age and be screened more often. If you’re older than 75, ask your doctor if you should continue to be screened. The best time to get screened is before you have any symptoms.
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