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Know Your Risk: Colorectal Cancer

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

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Aside from skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer affecting American adults. With such shockingly high statistics, it is important for people to know what factors can leave them more susceptible to developing this chronic health condition.

In light of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, learn more about what factors can increase the likelihood of developing this common form of cancer.

Having IBD

Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to refer to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which are associated with chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, this chronic inflammation can cause dysplasia, which causes cellular changes to the lining of these organs. Ultimately, these abnormal cells have the potential to become cancerous over time.

Family History

While most cases of colorectal cancer happen to those without a family history of having it, about ⅓ of colorectal cancer patients do. If you have a close family member like a parent, sibling, or child who has previously been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your risk is higher than those of average risk.


Age is one of the most important risk factors when it comes to a variety of health issues, including colorectal cancer. In fact, about 90% of colorectal cases are diagnosed in patients over the age of 50.

Lifestyle Choices

The way you live can affect your risk of developing a variety of chronic health conditions like colorectal cancer. Some of these lifestyle choices that increase your risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Leading a sedentary and inactive lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Eating an unhealthy diet

Get Screened: No Referral or Pre-op Appointment Needed

Healthy people, age 45 and older, with an average risk for colon cancer, can 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.

Primary Care in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton County

One of the most effective steps you can take in preventing cancer is knowing what tests are available and when you should start making them a regular part of your medical routine.

Visit our website to find a primary care provider to discuss what screenings options are available.