Colorectal cancer

2022-09-27, Reading time: 1 minute

Colorectral (colon) cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectrum and occurs primarily as people age. Additional risk factors include [2]:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

And lifestyle factors[1]:

  • Lack of regular physical activity.
  • A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
  • A low-fiber and high-fat diet, or a diet high in processed meats.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Tobacco use.

Symptoms may include [2]:

  • A change in bowel habits (like skinny pencil-thin stools)
  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way.
  • Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away.
  • Weight loss and you don’t know why.

In 2020, a new development in colorectal screening is that the CDC now recommends that you get a colonoscopy at age 45 now. This used to start at age 50 [3].

References and more info

  1. CDC Colorectral risk factors
  2. CDC Colorectral cancer symptoms
  3. USPSTF changes recommended age for colorectal cancer screening to 45

This page is a part of our Safety Minute collection. You can edit it or add more on GitHub.

❮ Back to Safety Minute Home