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Colorectal Cancer: Know Your Risk

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: St. John's Health
Colorectal Cancer: Know Your Risk

Who is at Risk for Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a form of cancer that usually forms from polyps found within the colon or the rectum. Because this form of cancer can be asymptomatic, it is essential to know your risk and get regular screenings for early detection.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors


Like many health conditions, age is one of the most significant factors when it comes to your risk of developing colorectal cancer. About 90% of new cases of colorectal cancer occur in people who are 50 years or older.

Family History

About 1 in 3 people who develop colorectal cancer also have an immediate family member who had also had it. If your sibling or parent has had a history of polyps or colon cancer, it is recommended that you talk with your doctor before the age of 45 to start screenings early.

Ethnic Background

Statistically, Black Americans are at an increased rate of developing colorectal cancer than other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It is also important to note that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest risk of developing colorectal cancer than any other ethnic group on a global scale.

Controllable Risk Factors


Leading a sedentary or inactive lifestyle leaves you at a higher risk of developing many health complications—including colorectal cancer. Getting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week to lower your risk.

Being Overweight or Obese

Studies have shown that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing colon and rectal cancers, especially in men. Leading an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk.

Tobacco Use

When you smoke cigarettes or use other forms of tobacco, it increases your risk of developing cancer in almost every part of your body, including the colon and rectum. It is also important to note that smokers aren’t the only ones at an increased risk—secondhand smoke inhalation can also increase that risk.

Colon Cancer Screening in Jackson Hole

St. John's has an open access process that allows healthy people, age 50 and older, with an average risk for colon cancer to schedule a colonoscopy without the inconvenience of an initial office visit. Fill out the online pre-registration form and one of our nurses will contact you within two business days.