Cancer starting in the large intestine or the colon is known as colon cancer. Colon cancer can affect people of any age. However, it is more commonly found in older adults. The exact cause of the condition is not known yet. Here are the risk factors and preventive measures of colon cancer that you should know.
Risk Factors of Colon Cancer
Knowing about the risk factors and preventive measures of colon cancer can help you keep the condition at bay. There are several risk factors associated that can be controlled, such as smoking. However, certain risk factors are beyond control, such as genetics and age.
Risk factors of colon cancer that can be changed include the following:
- Obesity or excessive body weight
People who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer. The chances of fatality due to colon cancer are also higher in these people. Although obesity increases the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, the chances remain higher in men.
- Physical inactivity
When you do not indulge in any physical activity, your chances of developing colon cancer increases. To lower the risk, you should engage in moderate to intense workouts regularly.
Intake of tobacco for a long duration can increase the risk of developing colon cancer significantly. People that smoke are more likely to develop and die from colon cancer than non-smokers. Smoking has been a known risk factor for lung cancer. It has also been linked with several other kinds of cancers.
Risk factors of colon cancer that cannot be changed include the following:
The risk of colon cancer is higher in older adults. Although it can affect younger people, it is more commonly found in people over 50 years of age.
- Family history
In most colon cancer patients, no family history of the condition is found. Every 1 out of 3 colon cancer patients are found to have a family history of the disease.
Preventive measures of colon cancer
There are several preventive measures to reduce the chances of developing the condition. These include the following:
- Regular screenings
People who are at risk of developing colon cancer should undergo screening after 50 years of age. People with a family history of the condition should undergo screening sooner.
- Lifestyle changes
The following lifestyle changes can help in preventing colon cancer.
- Eating a healthy diet
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy body weight