March: Colon Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates about 102,480 new cases of colon caner and about 40,340 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2013.
Not counting skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in the United States. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20.
While exact causes for colorectal cancer are unknown, there are risk factors we can and cannot control:
Risk factors you cannot change (examples:)
- Age: The chances of having colorectal cancer go up after age 50. More than 9 out of 10 people with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.
- Having had polyps or colorectal cancer
- History of bowel disease
- Family history of colorectal cancer
Risk factors you can control
- Diet: diets high in red meats increase your risk
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- Alcohol use