You may have heard that Colon Cancer is often hereditary. But what does that mean for you? Are you at risk for Colon Cancer because of your genetics?
In this article, we’ll explore the causes of Colorectal Cancer and how genetics can play a role. We’ll also discuss what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or CRC, is a type of cancer that begins in the colon or large intestine. It is the second most common type of cancer in men and the third most common type in women. Colorectal cancer can be treated successfully if caught early, but it can also be deadly if it is not diagnosed and treated early.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
Lifestyle choices and genetics most often cause colon cancer. Some of the most common causes of CRC include:
- Smoking: Smoking is one of the leading causes of Colon Cancer. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, that can damage the cells in the colon. This increases the risk of Colorectal Cancer. Smokers are also more likely to develop other types of cancer, including lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
- Obesity: Obesity is a significant problem in the United States. More than one-third of Americans are obese, and obesity is the leading cause of preventable death.
- Poor Diet: Many people in the United States have poor diets. A poor diet is high in unhealthy foods and low in healthy foods.
- Lack of Exercise: Lack of exercise is also a significant risk factor for CRC. Physically active people are less likely to develop Colon Cancer than those who are not. Exercise helps to keep the body healthy and reduces the risk of cancer.
- Genetics: Genetics can play a role in the development of Colorectal Cancer. Some people are born with genes that make them more likely to develop CRC. These genes may be passed down from parents or grandparents. If you have a family history of Colon Cancer, you may be at risk of developing the disease yourself.
Who is at Risk for Colon Cancer?
Anyone can develop Colorectal Cancer, but some people are at higher risk than others. People who are at the highest risk for CRC include:
– People with a family history of Colon Cancer
– People who have polyps in their colon
– People who are obese
– People who eat a lot of processed meat
– People who do not get enough exercise
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer?
You can do several things to reduce your risk of CRC. These include:
– Having regular screenings for Colon Cancer, including a colonoscopy
– Eating a healthy diet
– Exercising regularly
– Avoiding smoking
– Avoiding processed meat
– Limiting alcohol intake
If you have a family history of Colorectal Cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk for the disease. They may recommend regular screenings for CRC, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Colon Cancer is one of the most common cancers in adults. Colorectal cancer can be hereditary, meaning you may have a genetic predisposition to developing Colon Cancer if your family members are affected by this disease or another type of cancer.
To reduce your risk for CRC, it’s vital that you: eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. Colon cancer screenings, including colonoscopies, are also important. If you have a family history of Colon Cancer, discuss your risk with your doctor.