Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

Monday, March 22, 2010

There are more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed each year, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Though there is no cure for colon cancer, there are risk factors that are linked to an increased chance of getting the disease, which could help in early detection. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the risk factors in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum become abnormal and divide without control, forming a mass called a tumor.

The exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known. However, studies have shown that certain factors are linked to an increased chance of developing this disease, including:

h Age. Colorectal cancer is more likely to occur as people get older.

h Polyps. Most polyps are benign, but experts believe that the majority of colorectal cancers develop in polyps known as adenomas.

h Personal history.

h Family history.

h Ulcerative colitis or Crohn colitis. People who have ulcerative colitis or Crohn colitis may be more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

h Diet. Some evidence suggests that the development of colorectal cancer may be associated with high dietary consumption of red and processed meats and low consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

h Exercise. A sedentary lifestyle may be associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

h And smoking.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.