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Who's at Risk for Colon Cancer?

While risk factors such as genetics and lifestyle play a big part, cancer can still happen to anyone. Luckily, you can take steps to keep you and your family healthy if you become familiar with the most common risk factors. 

That’s why our team of gastroenterology experts at Gastro Center of Maryland is here with a comprehensive list of colon cancer risk factors to help you know where you stand. 

Who’s at risk for colon cancer?

The most common risk factor for colon cancer is advanced age. In fact, your likelihood of developing any type of serious illness increases as you get older. Other contributing factors include having:

Some lifestyle factors can even make you more likely to develop colon cancer. They include:

If you have these risk factors, it’s important to contact our experts to determine your next steps. 

What should I do if I’m at risk?

Our office should be your first call if you determine you’re at risk for colon cancer. We offer a wide range of diagnostic and screening tests to monitor your colon health and detect the earliest signs of cancerous changes. 

In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, we recommend that everyone receives colon cancer screening from age 45-75, but regular screening is even more critical if you have known risk factors. 

If we know you’re at risk for colon cancer, we may recommend you start screening earlier, continue screening past age 75, or have more frequent screens. 

We can also walk you through some ways to mitigate your risk for colon cancer. 

Can I reduce my risk?

Yes, you can reduce your risk for colon cancer, but there’s no way to guarantee you won’t ever get it. In addition to regular screenings, you should also make lifestyle changes to support your colon health. 

For starters, eat more whole foods, especially those rich in fiber, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. We also recommend eliminating or reducing your consumption of processed meats, red meat, alcohol, and tobacco. 

Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are other ways to support both your colon and overall health. 

Research shows a strong link between diet, weight, and exercise and colon cancer risk. Even the slightest changes can have a huge impact, so talk to us about what you can do to make healthy adjustments today. 

If you have more questions about your risk for colon cancer, or if you’d like to schedule a screening, don’t wait to call our friendly staff or schedule an appointment online.

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