Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer: Recognizing High Risk Factors and Prevention

Colorectal cancer is known as bowel cancer or colon cancer too which develops in the lower part of large intestine i.e. colon or rectum. Just like other types of cancer this also develops due to abnormal growth and development of cancerous cells in the colon. This cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide however with colorectal cancer high-risk factors recognition it can be prevented to a great extent.

In general, most of the colorectal cancer develops in the form of non-cancerous cells, known as adenomatous polyps. Out of these polyps cells, some of them transformed into colon cancers in the long run.

Its symptoms, in general, don’t appear or recognized in the very initial stage but with its growth, the symptoms started to develop in different forms depending on the location and size of this cancer.

Colorectal cancer has several risk factors which indicate that the person who carries any of those risk factors remains at risk of developing this cancer disease in the future. In this context you must understand just having some risk factors doesn’t mean that you will surely develop colon cancer.

Again it is seen that many people who have developed colorectal cancer doesn’t validate or fits into any of the risks of factors of this type of cancer. So anything can happen but yes, it increases the chances of safety if someone eliminates all known risk factors of this type of cancer disease which is a life-threatening health concern.

Significance of Recognizing High-Risk Factors of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer risk is influenced or triggered by many factors some of them are environmental factors, lifestyle and some are genetic concerns. Out of different factors, some of them are avoidable resulting is the risk of this chronic disease can be prevented.

However, some of the risk factors are beyond human control and preventing the colorectal cancer risk derived out of those factors are difficult or unavoidable. Still containing any of the risk factors doesn’t mean that a person will sure short develop this life-threatening cancer diseases in their life.

Colorectal Cancer Avoidable Risk Factors

Sedentary Lifestyle

A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle means stay inactive in their life and doesn’t do any kind of fitness activities contains a greater risk to develop colorectal or colon cancer. However, with regular fitness activities and with more active overall lifestyle this risk factor can be prevented.

Overweight or Obese

People who have over body weight or obese (excessive overweight) contains a very high risk of developing colon or rectal cancer and death risk too lies with them to a greater extent.

This risk is higher in people having a larger waistline and is equivalent to men and women. However, as per the datasheet of colorectal cancer men are the greater victim of this disease with a comparison to women.

Certain Diets

Your daily intake matters a lot for developing any kind of health issue and the same is applicable for the colorectal cancer risk too. People who mostly consume high calorie or high-fat diets remain at risk of developing this type of cancer disease at a certain point in their life.

However, with low fiber intake and by avoiding highly processed foods like red meat and processed meat one can reduce the growing risk of colorectal cancer to a great extent.

High Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption in a limited quantity is not harmful to health but its excessive consumption can raise your colorectal cancer risk in the future which can even cause death too.

However, by limiting your alcohol intake, you can reduce this chronic health cancer risk easily. As per the health specialists, for adult men 2 drinks of alcohol and for adult women 1 glasses of drink in a day are considered as healthy alcohol intake which has many health benefits.

Prevention of any types of cancer disease including colorectal cancer is one of those health benefits.


Smoking is another one of the common risk factors of colorectal cancer growth risk and even can cause death too if the concerned person has smoked tobacco for a very long duration in their lifetime.

Researches show that people who haven’t smoke ever in their life have a very lesser risk of this type of cancer than those who are addicted to smoking. Apart from colorectal cancer smoking increases the risk of throat and lungs cancer too which are also life threatening too.

Colorectal Cancer Unavoidable Risk Factors

colorectal cancer high-risk factors recognition

Old Age

As you age the risk of colorectal cancer increases a lot especially after crossing age 50. The diagnosis rate of colon cancer on average is age 68 in men and 72 in women.

Whereas the average diagnosis rate of rectal cancer as per the recorded datasheet is age 63 for both men and women. That means after 50 with each year you risk factor increases for colorectal cancer.

Though this cancer risk develops in teenagers and younger adults too still the majority of cases comes beyond the age group 50.


People who belong to the black race or community have a higher risk factor of colorectal cancer growth as well as mortality too. It is seen that black men and black women in the United States have developed colon and rectal cancer at a very younger stage approx. 45 which causes their death too.

The real cause behind this racial factor is still not very clear but the higher counts of colorectal cancer growth and death thereon simply prove that this particular race group contains greater risk factors than any other race around the world.


As per the recorded data sheet as of the date, it is clear that men have a greater risk factor of developing colorectal cancer with a comparison to women.

Previous Application of Radiation Therapy

If any person has a past history of the application of radiation therapy around the abdomen area for treating any type of cancer then such person has a higher risk factor for the growth and development of colon and rectal cancer in future.

Type 2 Diabetes

Any patient of type 2 Diabetes, not an insulin dependent carry the risk factor of developing colorectal cancer in the future in a very severe form. Regarding diabetes as well as colorectal cancer growth some of the risk factors are the same as sedentary lifestyle and overweight.

However, even by reducing these risk factors the growth risk for colorectal cancer in diabetes patients remains as it is throughout their life.

Previous History of Colorectal Cancer

People who have a previous history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps contains a very high risk of developing colon and rectum cancer in future even though the previous colorectal cancer was removed fully.

This especially happens if there were too many or too large polyps and any of them show the sign of dysplasia. People who have developed colorectal cancer in their younger age even though get treated fully develop this cancer in the later stages of their life.

Old Family History of Colorectal Cancer

Though all patients who develop colorectal cancer doesn’t have an old family history of colorectal cancer however one huge section of the victim of this cancer have an old family or genetic history of colorectal cancer.

Any history of colorectal cancer in their very first degree relatives such as parents, sibling, and children or other family members such as grandparents, grandchildren, cousin, aunt, uncle, nephew, and nieces increases the risk of same cancer growth in people who belong to that family.

This issue runs in family and primarily happens due to genetic mutation when the gene is transferred to the next generation of people of that particular family. Genetic counseling and genetic testing can prevent this risk to a great extent as it will detect the growth of this cancer at a very early stage in any other family member.

The risk factor of colorectal cancer gets dual if any of the family members have developed this health issue at very early stages of their life like before the age of 45. Also if there is more than one family member who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer then also the risk gets dual for the future or existing members of that family.

Previous History of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

People having inflammatory bowel disease or IBD such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s diseases have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer in the future. This particularly happens because IBD influences a lot to the colon and inflamed it over the long period of time if it remains untreated.

Anyone who is suffering from IBD since a very long duration must go for the screening test to diagnose colorectal cancer as it often develops dysplasia in the long run. Dysplasia is a cell that exists in the lining of the colon and rectum.

These cells look abnormal but are not cancerous cells in reality. However, this can be converted to the cancerous cells in the future. In this context, one should understand the fact that IBD is different from IBS i.e. irritable bowel syndrome which doesn’t carry any growth risk of colorectal cancer.

Inherited Syndrome

About 5% of colorectal cancer patients out of the total number of colorectal patients develops inherited syndrome or genetic syndrome that passes through genes from one generation to another.

Out of inherited syndrome Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC) and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) is the most common one which increases the colorectal cancer risk

  • Lynch Syndrome – Lynch syndrome is the most common type of inherited syndrome that causes colorectal cancer. Approx. 2 to 4% of overall colorectal cancers are developed due to this syndrome.

This happens due to gene inherited defect including MLH1 MSH2 gene. Apart from these genes changes in some other changes can also trigger to Lynch syndrome. The work of these genes is to give support in DNA repair which gets damaged over time due to this syndrome.

These risk factors of colorectal cancer in the people affected with Lynch syndrome remains as high as 80% throughout their life. Also, it develops primarily in the younger age of the patients.

Apart from colorectal cancer, the Lynch syndrome contains the risk factor of developing some other major type of cancer diseases too such as endometrium, ovary, stomach, kidney, small intestine, uterus, pancreas, breast, prostate and brain cancer.

  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) – 1 to 2 % of colorectal cancer case is developed due to FAP inherited syndrome in which mutations in the APC gene is inherited from parents to their children.

This type of colorectal cancer risk started at a very early stage of life like since the age of 10 only when more than hundreds of polyps starts growing in the colon and rectum of the victim.

By the age of 20 cancers develops in any of those polyps. At the age of 40, almost every person containing polyps develops colorectal cancer if not treated or removed in the very initial stages.

Along with colorectal cancer people having FAP contains the growth risk of other types of cancer too such as stomach cancer, pancreas, liver, and small intestine cancer.

The FAP has three subtypes known as (1) Attenuated FAP (2) Gardener syndrome (3) Turcot syndrome.

Rare Inherited Syndrome

Apart from some common type of inherited syndrome some rare type of inherited syndrome or uncommon inherited syndrome too contains the risk factor of developing colorectal cancer in the future to some extent.

Some rare inherited syndrome that contains the colorectal cancer risk includes:

  • Gender syndrome, a variant of FAP
  • Attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP)
  • Juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS)
  • MYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
  • Muir-Torre syndrome, a variant of Lynch syndrome
  • Turcot syndrome, a variant of FAP and Lynch syndrome
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS)


Certain effective lifestyle changes and early stage screening can prevent the growth and development risk of colorectal cancer to a great extent. Some prominent preventive tips to avoid this life-threatening disease are mentioned below:

Early Stage Screening Test

Early stage screening for the detection of colorectal cancer can work as an effective weapon for avoiding its growth risk. For example, an aging risk factor of colorectal cancer can be prevented by the screening test at the age of 50 as most of this cancer develops in people of this age group.

Apart from this family inheriting risk of colorectal cancer can be avoided by the screening test at very earlier stages of life as genetic mutation started to develop and affect in very initial age of life.

Stay Active or Exercise Frequently

It is the sedentary lifestyle that increases the risk factor of colorectal cancer growth to a greater extent. So with active living or lifestyle, one can prevent such risk.

Overweight or excessive overweight are other risk factors of colorectal cancer which can be controlled effectively with proper and consistent fitness activities like exercising. Keep your weight under controlled and in a healthy limit so that there will be no risk of getting colorectal cancer in the future.

Take Healthy Diets

Your body needs proper nutrients and vitamins in order to stay healthy and for the prevention of any type of cancer risk including colorectal cancer too. This you can ensure by taking healthy nutrient rich diet intakes such as green vegetables, fresh fruits, omega 3 fishes, whole grains etc.

Moderate your Alcohol Intake

By limiting your alcohol intake especially if you are alcohol addicted, you can prevent the risk of colorectal cancer growth in the future. For men 2 drinks in a day and for women 1 drink in a day is considered as the moderate limit of alcohol.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is injurious for health and apart from cancer, it increases the growth risk of several types of diseases. So for reducing your risk of colorectal cancer, you should quit your smoking completely.

Colorectal cancer high-risk factors recognition can be proved as a savior from the danger of this life-threatening disease if considered seriously. As awareness is the key to prevention for any kind of diseases so every individual should stay aware of all common and rare risk factors of this type of cancer.

[expand title=”View Article Sources“]


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *