Are You at Risk for Colorectal Cancer?
When cancer cells grow in the colon or rectum, it is referred to as colorectal cancer. Cancer cells may also enter the bloodstream, which enables them to spread to other areas. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. However, when the disease is detected and treated in its early stages, cancer care is more likely to be effective. Consider visiting your local hospital to ask your physician about screenings for colorectal cancer.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
Some factors that may place you at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer are not controllable with lifestyle changes or medical management. These include your age and gender. Men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer, as are individuals over the age of 50. Additionally, heredity is a significant risk factor of colorectal cancer. You may have a higher risk if you have a parent, child, or sibling who is diagnosed with the disease. The two common types of inherited colorectal cancer are hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis.
Medical Risk Factors
Certain medical conditions may increase your risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer . These include previously having colorectal cancer and having polyps in the colon. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can also raise your risk.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
Many lifestyle choices can influence the development of colorectal cancer. For example, individuals who smoke and those who consume alcohol in excess have a higher risk. Additionally, smokers are more likely to die from colorectal cancer than nonsmokers. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is another risk factor. Exercising for just 30 minutes per day can decrease your risk. Another lifestyle risk factor is your diet. You may have a higher risk of colorectal cancer if you eat a high-fat, low-fiber diet.
West Hills Hospital offers a range of health screenings and diagnostic tests, including colonoscopies, fecal occult blood tests, and double-contrast barium enemas. In addition to our exceptional Cancer Care team, our community hospital offers emergency care, maternity services, and burn care. West Hills residents may speak with a registered nurse by calling (818) 676-4000.