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Tuesday, Apr 20th

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Home Cancer Rectal Cancer Rectal Cancer Causes and Prevention

Rectal Cancer Causes and Prevention

  • The chances of having colorectal cancer go up after age 50. More than 9 out of 10 people found to have colorectal cancer are older than 50.
  • If you have had colorectal cancer (even if it has been completely removed), you are more likely to have new cancers start in other areas of your colon and rectum. The chances of this happening are greater if you had your first colorectal cancer when you were younger than age 60.
  • Two bowel diseases, called ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, increase the risk of colon cancer. In these diseases, the colon is inflamed over a long period of time. If you have either of these diseases your doctor may want you to have colon screening testing more often.
  • If you have close relatives who have had this cancer, your risk might be increased. People with a family history of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctors about when and how often to have screening tests.
  • A syndrome is a group of symptoms. For example in some families members tend to get a type of syndrome called FAP that involves having hundreds of polyps in their colon or rectum. Cancer often develops in 1 or more of these polyps.
  • Most people know that smoking causes lung cancer, but long-time smokers are more likely than non-smokers to die of colorectal cancer.
  • Heavy use of alcohol has been linked to colorectal cancer.
  • People with type 2 diabetes have an increased chance of getting colorectal cancer. They also tend to have a higher death rate from this cancer.
  • Being very overweight increases a person's risk of dying from colorectal cancer.
  • A diet that is high in red meats (beef, lamb, or liver) and processed meats such as hot dogs, meat can increase your colorectal cancer risk.
Prevention of Rectal Cancer
  • Appropriate colorectal screening leading to the detection and removal of precancerous growths is the only way to prevent this disease. Screening tests for rectal cancer include fecal occult blood test and endoscopy.
  • If a family history of colorectal cancer is present in a first-degree relative (a parent or a sibling), then endoscopy of the colon and rectum should begin 10 years before the age of the relative's diagnosis or at age 50 years, whichever comes first.
  • Diets high in vegetables and high-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals may rid the bowel of these carcinogens and help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Exercise regularly, to maintain controlled weight.
  • If you have bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, your doctor may recommend you to do colon screening testing often.


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